By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor
During the month of March, the Big Ten conference named University of Illinois Fighting Illini star big man and player Kofi Cockburn their 2020 Freshman Player of The Year.
The seven-foot, 290-pound center out of Kingston, Jamaica, led the Fighting Illini in the category of rebounding, averaging 8.8 per game. Cockburn also finished second in team scoring with 13.3 points per game.
In his first game with the Fighting Illini, Cockburn scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help defeat Nicholls State 78-70 in overtime.
After the Nicholls State game, Cockburn scored 23 points and added 14 rebounds in an 83-71 win over Grand Canyon University.
Cockburn also earned the Big Ten Player of the Week title late last year, after setting a freshman school record for rebounds in a game with 17 to go along with his 18 points in a win versus the Citadel Bulldogs.
According to his bio, Cockburn also added 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in a 71-62 victory over 5th ranked Michigan on December 11. It was the school’s first win over a top-five program since 2013.
In addition to being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Cockburn was also selected to the Third Team All-Big Ten Team by the media and earned Honorable Mention All-Conference according to the coaches.