- Inside Athletics
- Staff Directory
- Bleu Zone
Kansas City, MO (excerpts taken from NAIA.org) — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2015-16 Division 1 Men's Basketball All-America Teams on Thursday. Deondre McWhorter of Georgetown (Ky.) was named the 2015-16 NABC-NAIA National Player of the Year while Dillard's Demetric Austin (JR/Washington, D.C.) was named Second-Team NAIA All-American. All of the selections are made by the All-America Committee and comprises a First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention Team. There are 10 members on each of the first three All-America teams.
"This is certainly great news," said Dillard head coach Mike Newell. "It's great for Demetric, it's great for our program, and it's great for Dillard University. I'm really happy for him. He optimizes work ethic and competition. He's a competitor and he really hates to lose."
In the summer of 2015, Austin joined a Bleu Devils basketball team that won a total of five games last season and was picked to finish fifth out of seven teams in conference this season. Instead, they shocked the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and the NAIA by winning a grand total of 22 games including a GCAC Men's Basketball tournament championship over crosstown rival Xavier and a first-round upset over #8 Hope International in the NAIA Men's Basketball National Championship. Now Austin gets to add Second-Team NAIA All-American to this season's hardware in which he already earned GCAC Newcomer of the Year as well as First-Team All-GCAC honors.
"It's a blessing," said Austin. "I've been grinding since day one and my goal since I got to Dillard has been to help turn this program around. I wanted to be the best player that I can be. Thank you to Coach Newell for sticking with me. He is one of the coaches that I needed in life and he brought the best out of me and stuck with me."
Austin finished in the top 20 nationally (NAIA) in five categories including defensive rebounds per game (13th), total rebounds per game (15th), points per game (15th), total rebounds (17th) and total scoring (19th). He was instrumental in leading his team to a perfect 3-0 record in the 2016 GCAC Men's Basketball Tournament as he scored a career-high 34 points in the semi-final game against Philander Smith College. Not only was he named to the GCAC All-Tournament team but received GCAC Men's Basketball Tournament MVP honors for his outstanding play as he averaged 27.6 points per game and grabbed 9.3 boards per game. He shot 84 percent from the free-throw line (26-of-31) and shot 63 percent from the field (25-for-40).
Coach Newell still feels like the best is yet to come.
"I am most excited about the player that he can become during his senior year," said Newell. "After he stays on campus this summer and works out daily, the sky is the limit for him."
For more information on the NAIA and the remainder of the All-American squads, click here.