Shai Gilgeous-Alexander dribbles up the courtThe Canadian Press/Cole Burston
The Canadian Press/Cole Burston

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander earns CP Male Athlete of the Year honour

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has won the Lionel Conacher Award as the 2023 Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year.

The basketball player thus wins a second award in less than a month after being the recipient of the 2023 Northern Star Award, as Canada’s Athlete of the Year.

READ: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander named Canada’s Athlete of the Year for 2023

Last summer, the 25-year-old athlete helped Canada win bronze at the FIBA World Cup, thereby qualifying the Canadian team for the men’s Olympic tournament in Paris 2024, a first in 24 years since Sydney 2000.

“Playing for Team Canada is an honour, and being a part of the squad that won bronze at the World Cup is a career highlight, but I can’t wait to put the work in to aim for greater heights in Paris in 2024,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.

In eight games at the World Cup, the Hamilton native averaged 24.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.

READ: Canada advances to World Cup quarterfinals, qualifies for Olympics with win over Spain

In addition to excelling on the international stage, he has also become a star in the NBA, playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Nicknamed SGA, he has averaged 31.1 points per game and leads in steals with 2.8 in 28 games.

Last spring, the player who plays both point guard and shooting guard led the Thunder to a playoff berth by contributing to 16 additional victories compared to the previous season.

“Representing Hamilton and helping grow the game of basketball in Canada is one of the true joys of playing in the NBA,” explained Gilgeous-Alexander, who participated in his very first All-Star Game this year. “One thing I take great pride in is my work ethic, and with the Thunder I try to bring my best every single day to make my home country proud.”

2024 will be a very busy year for the Ontario player as he strives to lead both the Thunder and Team Canada as far as possible in their respective playoff tournaments.

READ: Canada takes down U.S. to claim first ever FIBA World Cup medal with bronze