Purdue All-American forward Robbie Hummel has been selected as the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner for men’s basketball. The announcement and trophy presentation were made Friday by Lowe’s, an official corporate sponsor of the NCAA, during the open practice sessions of Final Four Friday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Hummel is Purdue’s first-ever winner of the award, given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. The award is chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men’s basketball head coaches, national media and fans.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
“I’m extremely humbled to win this award. I have great parents who really raised me to do things the right way, and I’m so grateful to them. It’s also a testament to my coaches and teammates at Purdue for helping shape my life as I was becoming an adult,” Hummel said. “I’ve just always tried to do things the right way and be a good guy. Coach Painter tells us that the air will eventually come out of the ball and that how we conduct ourselves on and off the court is extremely important. It feels great to be recognized with a great group of people for living up to that standard.”
A management major with a 3.0-plus grade-point average who has earned three Academic All-Big Ten honors, Hummel takes part in trips to local elementary schools and preschools to read to students in an effort to promote literacy. He has also joined his teammates to volunteer at a public lunch program for disadvantaged youth and to conduct skills clinics for Special Olympics in Indianapolis.
The Valparaiso, Ind., native led Purdue with averages of 16.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2011-12, both career highs and good for fourth in the Big Ten. His 1.2 blocks per game as a senior was also a career best and ranked sixth in the conference.
He led Purdue in scoring 19 times and rebounds on 26 occasions during the season, posting six double-doubles and nine 20-point performances. He scored a season-high 29 points in Purdue’s defeat of Nebraska at Mackey Arena on Feb. 22, and knocked down game-winning shots against Iona on Nov. 17 and Northwestern on Jan. 28 en route to helping the Boilers match the program record with their sixth-straight 20-win season.
Hummel also guided Purdue to its fifth-straight NCAA Tournament, leaving a lasting impression with 26 points, nine rebounds and three assists against Kansas in his final collegiate game.
Hummel was named a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2012 for the third time in his career, making him just the seventh Boilermaker to earn three nods to the league’s top squad. He is also one of just three players in program history, along with Paul Hoffman and close friend E’Twaun Moore, to garner All-Big Ten honors in each of his four seasons.
On Monday, he was recognized as an Associated Press honorable mention All-American for the second time in his career, having also earned the honor in 2010. Along with his second-team NABC accolade in 2010, Hummel claimed a total of three All-America honors in his tenure at Purdue.
Hummel finished his career ranked ninth in Purdue history with 1,772 points, tied for fourth with 862 rebounds, fourth with 216 three-point field goals and seventh with 112 blocks. He is the only player in Purdue history to accrue 1,700 points, 850 rebounds, 250 assists, 125 steals and 100 blocks in his career.
“Guys like Rob Hummel don’t come around very often, but as a coach, you wish you had 10 of him,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “Rob is the epitome of a class act. He was first-team All-Big Ten as a freshman, and after the season, he told me he’d have been happy if he played 10 minutes. He showed up every day wanting nothing more than to help Purdue win, and we couldn’t have asked for a better representative of our program on or off the court.”
Hummel’s status as a national finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in 2012 marked the third year in a row that Purdue has placed a student-athlete in the final running for the honor. Chris Kramer was Purdue’s first-ever finalist for the award in 2010, and Moore made the final cut in 2011. Kramer won the fan vote in his year as a finalist.