March 6, 2001
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Washington State men's basketball junior center J Locklier (Rock Hill, S.C.) has been named the 2000-01 Pacific-10 Conference Fred Hessler Award winner honoring the league's Newcomer of the Year.
For the ninth straight season the Newcomer of the Year was selected by the Pac-10 radio play-by-play announcers and named in honor of the late UCLA broadcaster.
Locklier, a 6-foot-10 center, is averaging 9.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field for the Cougars (12-14 overall, 5-11 and tied for sixth in the Pac-10).
"It is an honor to receive this award," Locklier said. "I am thankful to (WSU head) coach (Paul) Graham and his staff for giving me an opportunity."
Locklier, who sat out last season after transferring to WSU from Miami, Ohio where he played for two seasons, added, "Hopefully, the team will continue to improve in the future."
Graham commented, "J has been an important part of the rebuilding of the Washington State basketball program. Every night he goes up against guys that are bigger than him and he still gets us nine points and six rebounds."
Locklier is the only Cougar to start all 26 games this season. His six rebounds per game rank 12th in the Pac-10. He has recorded 10 or more rebounds in three games this season, including a career-high 12 versus Washington (March 3). He added 16 points in WSU's 79-61 victory over the Huskies for his first double-double.
"This award recognizes the fact that Washington State is a basketball program headed in the right direction," Graham said. "I am happy for J and his family."
Locklier is the second Cougar to earn the award, joining Shamon Antrum who was honored for the 1994-95 season.