Men's Basketball
Tyrese Maxey Named Kia NBA Most Improved Player

Tyrese Maxey Named Kia NBA Most Improved Player

NEW YORK – Becoming one of the league’s elite in his fourth NBA season, Kentucky men’s basketball standout Tyrese Maxey has been named the Kia NBA Most Improved Player, it was announced on Tuesday. He is the second Kentucky men’s basketball product to earn the honor, joining Julius Randle who won the award in 2021.  

Maxey earned the award over other finalists, Alperen Sengun of the Houston Rockets and Coby White of the Chicago Bulls.  He received 51 first place votes, 19 more than the Bulls’ White. 

The Philadelphia 76ers guard made major strides in numerous statistical categories this season, none more notable than his 25.9 points per game average, up from 20.3 points per game the year prior. Maxey’s scoring average was tied for the 11th best in the NBA this season, ranking him above the likes of Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Damien Lillard and Kawhi Leonard.  

The Garland, Texas, native also set career bests in assists per game (6.9), rebounds per game (3.7), steals per game (1.0), and blocks per game (0.5), on his way to being named an NBA All-Star for the first time. He helped carry the Sixers into the NBA Playoffs, taking the reins while the league’s reigning MVP, Joel Embiid, missed 43 games due to injury.  

The 6-foot-2 speedster scored 50 points on three occasions this season, including a career-high 52 points in a double-overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs on April 7.  

Maxey and the Sixers are currently in the midst of their opening round playoff series against the New York Knicks, trailing 2-0. The point guard is averaging 34.0 points per game in the series and finished game two with a game-high 35 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Game three is set for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on TNT.  

Maxey was selected 21st overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, after earning second-team All-Southeastern Conference and SEC Freshman Team honors for the Wildcats. He averaged 14.0 points per game and played a team-high 34.5 minutes per game at UK. Maxey scored in double figures in 22 games and hit the game-winning shot in his collegiate debut to help the Wildcats defeat No. 1 Michigan State in the season opener. 

Kentucky men’s basketball alumni continue to make a major impact on the NBA scene. UK led the country for the 12th straight season with 26 former student-athletes on NBA opening day rosters in 2023-24, while also pacing the nation with 22 representatives in the NBA Playoffs. At the 2024 NBA All-Star game, the Wildcats made history with a record-breaking seven players earning All-Star nods, breaking the previous high mark of four. 

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

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