St. John's Dean Wade, who plays basketball for the Kansas State Wildcats, has been selected as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year.

With a skill set that is unusual for a 6-foot-10 basketball player, Dean Wade of Kansas State University has made a name for himself and has been named the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year. The conference coaches selected Wade, a St. John resident, in recognition of his level of play and his potential level this season.

“It’s a real nice preseason honor for Dean,” said Clint Kinnamon who was Wade’s coach at St. John.

Not a lot of players his size have the perimeter skills Wade possesses. Wade took hold of his training at St. John to play both the inside and perimeter and has applied those skills during his time at K-State. For his work, he is the best re- turning player in the conference and in the top 25 players in the country, said Kinnamon who is pleased to see Wade become more aggressive in the last couple of years.

Besides being one of the best players in the Big 12 Conference, Wade has skills and determination that could lead to a professional career in the NBA. That potential is not lost on Kinnamon who was watching an NBA game with his wife and he said that next year at this time, they could be watching a player that played in St. John.

“It would be a surreal moment,” Kinnamon said. As for Wade, who texts and talks with Kinnamon, he has very little to say to the media about the honor or anything thing else. He would rather avoid the media all together but it is a necessary evil.

If he has to comment, he talks about the upcoming season and the excitement of K-State’s Elite 8 run last year in the NCAA Tournament, Kinnamon said.

Wade has gotten better over the last year and several other players have improved as well. K-State could win the conference and go far in the NCAA Tournament.

“That’s his focus. The individual stuff, he could care less about,” Kinnamon said.

As his coach, Kinnamon said he is proud of the player and the person Wade has become.

For all this attention, Wade remains humble and that says a lot, Kinnamon said.