Bolon Wins NCAA Academic All-America of the Year Award

Bolon Wins NCAA Academic All-America of the Year Award

  

 AUSTIN, Texas – West Liberty University graduate Dalton Bolon has been selected as the winner of the 2021 NCAA Division II Academic All-America® of the Year Award for men’s basketball in voting by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

   A two-time NCAA Division II All-American on the court, Bolon earned back-to-back Mountain East Conference and Atlantic Region Player of the Year honors while scoring more than 2,000 points as a Hilltopper. The 6-4 Gnadenhutten, Ohio native was an honors graduate in Human Biology with a 3.85 GPA and has maintained a perfect 4.00 GPA throughout his graduate studies at West Liberty.

   “This is a tremendous honor and Dalton is a very deserving recipient,” head coach Ben Howlett said. “Dalton has been a role model for our younger players, working just as hard in the classroom as he does on the basketball court. My only regret is that the general public didn’t get to see Dalton’s work ethic on and off the court in person the way we did on a daily basis. It has been a great experience for me and everyone involved in our program to spend five wonderful seasons with Dalton.”

   The Hilltopper men's basketball program has now produced at least one NCAA Division II Academic All-American® for nine consecutive years, giving the university a total of 18 NCAA Academic All-Americans® since its successful transition from NAIA to NCAA affiliation during the 1990s.

   Bolon is the second NCAA Division II Academic All-America® of the Year Award winner of Howlett’s tenure (Dan Monteroso, 2018) and the third in school history. Tori Hansen was the 2011 College Division Academic All-American® of the Year for women’s basketball, an honor that encompassed Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior-college basketball.

   Bolon, who will be taking advantage of the NCAA’s COVID-19 eligibility waiver to play his final college year at NCAA Division I College of Charleston (S.C.) in 2021-22, has spent the past four seasons making incredible memories on the hilltop. He battled through several injuries to play in all 117 games, helping lead the Black and Gold to a 99-18 record that included four straight national scoring titles, MEC championships and NCAA Tournament bids.

   “I can't say enough good things about West Liberty," Bolon said. "Obviously, basketball has been just an amazing experience but it's the people I've met here and the relationships I've built with coaches, teammates, faculty and fans. Those things will last me longer than all the points, records and awards. It's the people at West Liberty. I've definitely been blessed.”

   As a senior, Bolon once again led the Hilltoppers in scoring (21.3 ppg.) and rebounding (7.7 rpg.) while ranking among the nation’s Top 25 in scoring, 3-Point Field Goals/Game and 3-Point Field Goal Percentage. He scored double-figures in 103 of his 117 career games and went for 20 or more points 47 times. Bolon leaves the hilltop as the second-leading scorer in school history with 2,247 career points and also ranks No. 2 all-time at WLU with 351 3-point field goals.

   Joining Bolon on the NCAA Division II Academic All-America® first-team unit are Northern State (S.D.) senior Parker Fox, Tusculum (Tenn.) senior Trenton Gibson, Dallas Baptist senior Chandler Jacobs and Pitt-Johnstown junior John Paul Kromka. Fox, Gibson and Jacobs are first-time honorees while Kromka was a third-team selection a year ago.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

NCAA Division II

2021 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team

FIRST TEAM

Name                           School                                 Yr.             GPA          Major

DALTON BOLON*        WEST LIBERTY                    GR.           3.85/4.00 PHYSICIAN'S ASSISTANT

Parker Fox                    Northern State                    Sr.             3.81          Sport Management

Trenton Gibson            Tusculum                             Sr.             3.96          Sport Management

Chandler Jacobs           Dallas Baptist                      Sr.             3.88          Accounting

John Paul Kromka        Pitt-Johnstown                     Jr.             3.94          Mechanical Engineering

  *-2021 CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year Award

SECOND TEAM

Name                           School                                 Yr.             GPA          Major

Elijah Jenkins                Embry-Riddle (Fla.)             Sr.             3.97          Mechanical Engineering

Sam Orf                        Alabama-Huntsville            Sr.             3.82          Sports & Fitness Management

Tyler Riemersma          Augustana                           Sr.             3.90          Data Science

Brendan Sullivan          Colorado School of Mines   Jr.             3.83          Civil Engineering

Jared Vitztum               Fort Hays State                    Gr.            3.92/4.00  Business Administration

THIRD TEAM

Name                           School                                 Yr.             GPA          Major

Harry Cavell                 Seattle Pacific                     Gr.            3.84/3.67  Data Analytics (G)

Adam Dworsky             SE Oklahoma State              Sr.             3.81          Mathematics

Conley Garrison           Drury                                   Sr.             3.72          Business

Ronnie Silva                  Adelphi                                Jr.             3.63          Sports Management

Owen White                 Michigan Tech                    Jr.             3.82          Mechanical Engineering


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