Kawhi Leonard named overall Hickok Belt® Award Winner for 2019

By on March 9, 2020

A panel of National Sports Media Association (NSMA) voters has chosen Kawhi Leonard as the Hickok Belt® Award winner for 2019. The voters selected the six-foot-seven basketball superstar, after he led his former team, the Toronto Raptors, to their first NBA championship crown, defeating the Golden State Warriors, four games to two. Kawhi, nicknamed the “Claw,” for his defensive ball-hawking prowess, won the NBA’s MVP for the second time. He joins NBA superstars LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the third player ever to win the NBA Finals MVP with two teams. Leonard has earned five All-Defensive team selections and won the NBA defensive player of the year award in 2015 and 2016. He scored 732 points in the playoffs, third only to Michael Jordan (759) and LeBron James (748). Shortly after his Championship victory, Leonard left the Raptors and signed a $103 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. 

“On behalf of the NSMA, I’d like to congratulate Kawhi Leonard on an amazing year,” said Dave Goren, Executive Director. “While you couldn’t go wrong with any of the finalists, Kawhi Leonard capped an outstanding season with an NBA Finals show that put him among the pantheon of clutch performers.”

Other finalists for the award included each of the 2019 Hickok Belt® Award monthly winners, which finished in the following order, based on the NSMA voting: Stephen Strasburg (baseball), Lamar Jackson (football), Tiger Woods (golf), Brooks Koepka (golf), Novak Djokovic (tennis), Tom Brady (football), Gerrit Cole (baseball), Rory McIlroy (golf), and Jimmy Garoppolo (football).

 “Kawhi Leonard is a perfect example of what the Hickok Belt® Award stands for,” Tony Liccione, of the Hickok Belt® Award, said in a statement. “It is only fitting, after playing the incredible way he did in the 2019 season, that he be included to a long line of Hickok Belt® Award Champions.”

To learn more about the Hickok Belt® Award and its history, visit www.hickokbelt.com.

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