Alumnus Paul George represents Bulldogs with All-NBA selection

Paul George and teammate Mychal Ladd pose for a picture during their freshmen year at Fresno State. (File Photo/The Collegian)

Former Fresno State basketball standout Paul George continues to make his case for one of the top five NBA players in the league, as he was named to the 2018-19 All-NBA First Team, the NBA announced on Thursday.

This represents the fifth All-NBA selection for George and the first time he has been named to the All-NBA First Team. George had previously been a four-time All-NBA Third Team honoree.

George, a native of Palmdale, has become a bonafide NBA superstar after shining for two seasons at Fresno State before being drafted No. 10 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers.

In his second season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, George averaged career highs in points (28.0, second in NBA), rebounds (8.2), assists (4.1) and steals (2.21, first in NBA). The only other player to average as many points, rebounds and steals in a season since steals became an official stat was Michael Jordan in 1988-98.

Additionally, George recorded seven games with 40 points or more, with the Thunder going undefeated when he did so. Among NBA leaders, George ranked first in deflections (3.8) and in loose balls recovered (2.1), second in points off opponent turnovers (4.9) and seventh in fast break points (4.5).

George, a six-time NBA All-Star and 2016 Olympic Gold medalist, made 292 three-point shots on the season, a personal and franchise best as well as the third most of all players this season. From Nov. 30 to March 5, he recorded 40-straight games with multiple threes, making him just the second player in NBA history to hold as long of a streak (Stephen Curry, 53).

Additionally, George earned All-Defensive First Team honors this year after producing a streak of 18 games from Jan. 10 to Feb. 22 with at least one steal, just the second Thunder player to ever do so (Westbrook).

He also drained four game-winning shots this season, including the first of his career, good for the most in the NBA this year and tied for the most in Thunder history. In clutch time, George ranked first in steals (13) and fifth in points (145).

George’s 2018-2019 defensive stats composes a compelling case for NBA Defensive Player of the Year honor and his stats overall puts him in the conversation for a top three finish Most Valuable Player Award finish.

The winners of both of those awards will be revealed at the 2019 NBA Awards on Monday, June 24 on TNT.

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