Men's Basketball
Former UK Star Oscar Tshiebwe Wins G League Rookie of the Year

Former UK Star Oscar Tshiebwe Wins G League Rookie of the Year

NEW YORK – Former Kentucky men’s basketball star Oscar Tshiebwe (2022-23) was named the 2023-24 Kia G League Rookie of the Year.

Much like he did with the Wildcats, Tshiebwe rewrote the record books in his first season as a two-way contract player with the Indiana Pacers and the Indiana Mad Ants. The Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo native set the league’s all-time rebounding record with an average of 16.2 per game in 23 games played with the Mad Ants this season. The previous record was owned by Dwayne Jones in 2009-10 when he averaged 16.1 per outing.

Tshiebwe averaged just 27.2 minutes per game, resulting in a per-48 average of 28.6 rebounds per game. He had seven games with 20 or more boards. In the final month of the season, Tshiebwe averaged 19.3 points and 19.6 rebounds per game.

During his rookie year, Tshiebwe set new single-season Mad Ant franchise records for total rebounds (530), offensive rebounds (200) and defensive rebounds (330). He broke the Mad Ants’ single-game rebounding record with 28 against Motor City on Nov. 2. He also broke the franchise record for defensive rebounds in a single game that night with 20.

Offensively, Tshiebwe ranked fourth in single-season franchise history with a 57.4% field-goal clip. He was just the second Mad Ant to ever participate in NBA All-Star activities as he was a part of the Rising Stars game in Indianapolis in February. He also participated in the NBA G League Up Next games and hit the winning free throw in the championship game.

He is the second player in franchise history to earn G League Rookie of the Year honors, joining Tony Mitchell who achieved the honor in 2013.

Tshiebwe is perhaps the most decorated player in UK history. He became the program’s first unanimous National Player of the Year in 2022 after pacing the nation in rebounding and setting numerous records.

He returned for a second season and became just the ninth player in program history to earn consensus All-America honors in at least two seasons. He led the Cats with 16.5 points and a nation-best 13.7 boards per game as a senior.

Tshiebwe averaged 16.9 points and 14.4 rebounds per game in 66 UK appearances. He finished his career ranking tied for second in career double-doubles (48), sixth in all-time career rebounds (952) and 48th in scoring (1,117).

Kentucky has enjoyed unprecedented success at putting players in the NBA under John Calipari. During the Calipari era, 47 players have been selected in the NBA Draft, more than any other school. Included in the recent run are 35 first-round picks, three No. 1 overall selections (Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns and John Wall) and 23 lottery selections. A staggering 26 players from Kentucky were on 2023-24 NBA opening-day rosters (including two-way and inactive lists), the most of any school.

Calipari’s players are not only reaching the next level, but they are also succeeding when they do. Since 2010, nine Calipari-coached players have garnered 39 All-Star selections. Derrick Rose (from Memphis) was named league MVP in 2011. Nine of his players have been tabbed All-NBA (Devin Booker, DeMarcus Cousins, De’Aaron Fox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Julius Randle, Rose, Wall, Davis, and Towns), three have been named NBA Rookie of the Year (Rose, Tyreke Evans and Towns), Randle was tabbed the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2021, Tyler Herro won NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2022, Fox was tabbed the Clutch Player of the Year in 2023 and 15 players have made the NBA All-Rookie teams.

Among all active collegiate coaches, Calipari has more total players (10) and more total All-Star selections (39) than any other coach.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter/X, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, and on the web at

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