The Orlando Magic’s Kyle O’Quinn, who led the Norfolk State Spartans to a major upset over Mizzou in the second round of the 2012 NCAA tournament, was named the team’s “Most Competitive Player” by the Bleacher Report.
Micky Shaked of the Bleacher Report almost certainly owes O’Quinn for his latest article titled “Each NBA Teams’ Most Competitive Player,” which now has over 112,000 reads.
“To be completely honest I didn’t know some teams gave sponsored “Hustle Player” awards until researching for this slideshow,” wrote Shaked on O’Quinn, who also is the recipient of the Aleve-Publix ‘Hustle Player of the Year’ award—he won the same award the previous season, too.
What makes O’Quinn valuable is that his hustle translates to productivity: his hard play results in rebounds and blocks, contributions that one can measure. He’s also headier than one might expect, with an assist rate of 13.1 percent, which ranks highly among players of his size.
O’Quinn will probably never be more than an emergency option on offense, but that’s OK: the Magic don’t need him to fill a larger role than he already does. So long as he makes about 40 percent of his jumpers, hits the boards, and defends his position, he’s doing his job.
In the 2012 March Madness tournament, Kyle O’Quinn and the Norfolk State Spartans recorded one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NCAA tournament when the No. 15 seed program defeated the No. 2 seed University of Missouri in an intense nail-biter to the end, the Spartans winning 86-84.
The Spartans later lost to the No. 7 seed University of Florida in the third round.
O’Quinn, a Jamaica, NY native, was drafted by the Orland Magic with the 49th picked in the 2012 NBA Draft.