Nick Norton

UAB freshman Nick Norton brings the ball up the court during a game this season at Birmingham, Ala. The Central Catholic High School graduate was among 21 finalists named Monday for the Kyle Macy Award, which goes annually to the top freshman in NCAA Division I men's basketball.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — University of Alabama-Birmingham freshman point guard Nick Norton, a former Central Catholic High School star, was among 21 finalists announced Monday for the Kyle Macy National Freshman of the Year Award given annually to the top freshman in NCAA Division I men's basketball.

Norton, who led Central Catholic to the 2014 Class 2A state title, was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team this season.

"What a tremendous honor for Nick to be named one of the top freshmen in the nation," UAB head coach Jerod Haase said. "Nick became a leader for our team early on this season and was a big reason for our success late in the year.

"This award puts his name up there with not only the best freshmen in the nation, but also some of the top players in college basketball this season. He is very deserving of this honor, and I am proud of what he accomplished in his first season at UAB."

Norton ranked fourth in assist/turnover and sixth in assists in Conference USA with 132 assists and 62 turnovers. He was UAB's top 3-point shooter, hitting 59-of-151 (39.1 percent). Included was a 26-point effort on Jan. 22 against Charlotte in which he was 6-of-11 from 3-point range.

Norton scored in double figures 11 times and had three or more assists 24 times. He also UAB at the free throw line (85 percent), in assists (3.8 per game) and in steals (1.4).

The recipient of the Kyle Macy Award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on Friday in Indianapolis.

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Sports Editor

Sports Editor for The Pantagraph.

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