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ST. LOUIS — Northern Iowa guard AJ Green has earned the Larry Bird Trophy, presented to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball Player of the Year.
The league office announced the honor Tuesday. along with the all-conference team and other awards.
Green is a two-time winner of the honor, capturing it in 2020. He is joined by fellow Panthers Jason Daisy (1997), Adam Koch (2010) and Seth Tuttle (2015) as UNI players who have earned the league's top individual honor.
UNI’s Bowen Born was named winner of the MVC’s “Sixth Man Award,” the fifth Panther so honored.
Green, a junior, is the 10th player in league history to earn the Larry Bird Trophy more than once. No player has won the honor three times.
Green was selected to the MVC’s first team and teammate Noah Carter earned second-team honors. Green also was a first-team pick in 2020 and a third-team selection in 2019. This is Carter’s first honor.
Green led the MVC this season at 21.2 points per game in league play. The Cedar Falls native posted a league-best 94.2 percent mark at the free-throw line in conference-only games, and scored 30-plus points in four games this year.
One of the league's top shooters, Green also led the conference with 52 made 3-point field goals, averaging 3.1 in league action.
Green became just the 49th player in the league’s 115-year history to reach 1,700 career points on Saturday and he is the seventh player in UNI basketball history to reach that mark. He needs 12 points to pass Bill McCoy (1969-73) on UNI’s all-time list.
Carter, from Dubuque, ranked fifth in scoring in MVC play at 17.1 points per game, notching 15 or more points in 14 of UNI's 18 conference games. Carter shot 49.2 percent from the field and made 85 free throws, second only to Green on the team. He also averaged 4.0 rebounds and had a team-high 12 blocks.
The 2021 MVC Freshman of the Year, Born follows Lucas O'Rear (2009, 2010), Wes Washpun (2015) and Spencer Haldeman (2019) as Panthers to earn the Sixth Man honor.
Born, from Norwalk, started just one game this season, but averaged 24.0 minutes per game and 7.6 points. His 51 assists are second-best on the team.
UNI is the top seed in this weekend’s MVC tournament in St. Louis. The Panthers (18-10) will play either Illinois State or Indiana State on Friday at noon.
News releases from the MVC and UNI sports information contributed to his report.