Kawhi Leonard accepts the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award on Thursday. Courtesy of sportal.com
Kawhi Leonard accepts the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award on Thursday. Courtesy of sportal.com

Former SDSU great, and current San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was awarded the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced Thursday.

Leonard is the first Aztec to ever go on to win the award, and is the first member of the Spurs to do so since David Robinson back in 1991-92.

He led the NBA with a career-high 2.31 steals per game, and also averaged a career-high 5.9 rebounds per game.

Leonard is the sixth forward of all-time to lead the league in steals since it became a stat 42 years ago.

Out of a panel of 129 writers, Leonard received 37 first place votes and 333 total points to beat out Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who received 317 points.

Leonard played in 64 out of the Spurs’ 82 games last season, the fewest amount of games played during the regular season by the eventual winner of the award.

During his two years at SDSU  Leonard averaged 14.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, and helped lead the program to its first ever Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2011, while being voted as a consensus second team All-American that year as well.

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