Fardaws Aimaq garners national attention and awards with outstanding 2021-22 season

Aimaq, Fuller and Harding huddle up (Photo courtesy of Nathan Farmer).

With Utah Valley’s 82-74 loss to Abilene Christian in the WAC tournament, the 2021-22 season has come to an end for the Wolverines. UVU finished the season with a 20-12 overall record, going 10-8 in conference play. The Wolverines also witnessed a historical season as Fardaws Aimaq finished the season tied for the most double-doubles in the nation with Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe at 27.  

Aimaq started off this season’s campaign with a selection to the 2021-22 Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches’ All-WAC First Team. Despite being the only UVU player to ever win a WAC Player of The Year award and a WAC Defensive Player of The Year award in the same season the year prior, Aimaq wasn’t named the WAC Preseason Player of The Year for the 2021-2022 season. 

During the 2021-2022 season, Aimaq averaged 18.9 points per game and 13.6 rebounds per game. This includes his seventh straight double-double with 24 points and a season-high 22 rebound performance to lead Utah Valley to a 72-65 overtime win over then no. 12 BYU. He also dished out a season-high four assists and tallied a career-high five steals in the win over the crosstown rival. Aimaq scored his 24 points on a 7 of 19 clip from the field and an 8 of 13 mark from the free-throw line on Dec. 1. 

Aimaqs highest scoring output came in an overtime thriller against Pepperdine on Nov. 15 where he scored 34 points helping the Wolverines outscore the Waves 15-3 in overtime and take the 86-74 win. 

It was these performances that led Aimaq to receive five WAC Player of The Week awards, as well as the ESPN Player of the Week and the Lute Olson National Player of the Week for his performance in a 72-65 overtime win over BYU.

After UVU defeated BYU, Aimaq began to garner the attention from national pundits like Kevin Conners, who wrote an in-depth piece for ESPN on Aimaqs journey to the valley. Aimaq was also featured as the top player on many of the mid-major watch lists. 

This season’s battle for the WAC Player of The Year came down to Teddy Allen of New Mexico State and Aimaq. Allen was given the award after leading his team to a WAC tournament championship and eventual bid to the NCAA tournament. 

Aimaq finished off the season winning back-to-back WAC Defensive Player of The Year awards, along with being named to All-WAC First Team honors. 

Aimaq was named to the District 6 first team, becoming the first player in UVU history to earn All-District First Team honors in back-to-back seasons. He was named to the USBWA District VIII Team as well, becoming just the third player in UVU history to earn the NABC All-District honor.

The sophomore center broke Paul Millsap’s WAC season rebounds record of 245, totaling 254 boards this season. Millsap’s record had stood for 15 seasons before Aimaq set the new record of 254.

Aimaq is the only player in the country with three 20-20 games this season. He is also the only player in the nation to record back-to-back 20-20 games.

Most recently, Aimaq has been named a finalist for both the Lou Henson National Player of the Year Award and the Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year Award for a second straight season. He was also named to the Lou Henson All-America team and the Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team.

Aimaq looks to be exploring his options as he has entered his name into the transfer portal. Although it hasn’t been officially announced, he also looks to be testing out the NBA draft waters before making a decision on his future.

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