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March 12, 2009Chapel Hill ---The Sporting News has named University of North Carolina senior forward Tyler Hansbrough a first-team All-America for the fourth consecutive year and junior point guard Ty Lawson a second-team All-America in the magazine's March 16 issue.
Hansbrough becomes the first men's basketball player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to earn at least one first-team All-America honor in four seasons.
The Poplar Bluff, Mo., native was a Sporting News' selection in 2006 and earned consensus first-team honors as a sophomore and junior.
"This is unprecedented in ACC history and further indication of the remarkable career this young man has had" says UNC head coach Roy Williams.
"I hope people, regardless of which school they pull for, will appreciate what Tyler has accomplished both individually and for his team. He has done so many good things for college basketball at a time when that was really important for our game. He is very talented, and he should get credit for his hard work, but also for being a great teammate and the ultimate competitor. A first-team All-America for four straight years playing in what I believe is the best conference in the country ? it just doesn't get better than that."
Six other ACC players, including four Tar Heels, were three-time first-team All-Americas. They are UNC's Jack Cobb in 1924-26, Phil Ford 1976-78, Mike O'Koren 1978-80 and Sam Perkins 1982-84, NC State's David Thompson 1973-75 and Virginia's Ralph Sampson 1981-83.
The University of North Carolina will retire Hansbrough's #50.
Lawson's #5 will also be honored in the Smith Center rafters by virtue of being a first- or second-team All-America selection.
"I'm really happy for Ty," says Coach Williams. "I think he should have qualified for the rafters by winning ACC Player of the Year. That's something I would like us to look at in the offseason. However he made it, I am happy for him. He?s matured this year both as a person and a player. He makes us go and he's been really good for us in key spots this year."