Historic MEC 'Double' for West Liberty's Bolon
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – West Liberty University basketball All-American Dalton Bolon completed an historic athletic and academic "double" today when he was honored as the Mountain East Conference’s 2021 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The 6-4 graduate student from Gnadenhutten, Ohio is the first student-athlete in MEC history to win the conference's Male Athlete of the Year and Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards. The MEC announced the 2021 Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday.
Bolon is certainly no stranger to academic honors. The three-time NCAA Division II Academic All-American earned national recognition earlier this spring when he was chosen as the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Academic All-American of the Year. An honors graduate with a degree in Human Biology, he has maintained a perfect 4.00 GPA while pursuing his master's degree at WLU.
"We are tremendously excited and pleased to see Dalton add yet another impressive honor to his outstanding resume," West Liberty athletic director Lynn Ullom said. "As an All-American on the court and an Academic All-American in the classroom, Dalton has been a tremendous ambassador for our university throughout his time on the hilltop. We congratulate him on this latest achievement."
A consensus All-American who led the nation's highest-scoring team in scoring and rebounding each of the last two seasons, Bolon helped Coach Ben Howlett's Hilltoppers roll to their fourth straight MEC championship and sixth NCAA D2 Atlantic Region title and Elite Eight berth in the past decade during the abbreviated 2021 season.
Bolon led West Liberty to a 99-18 record during his four years on the hilltop and was the model of consistency, hitting double figures in 103 of his 117 career games. As a senior, he ranked among the top 25 nationally in scoring, 3-point field goals/game, 3-point field goal percentage and double-doubles while shooting nearly 90 percent from the charity stripe.
The two-time MEC and Atlantic Region Player of the Year set an MEC record with 351 career 3-point field goals and ranks No. 2 all-time on the MEC and West Liberty scoring charts with 2,247 career points.
The MEC Male and Female Scholar-Athlete Awards were created to recognize the conference's male and female student-athletes who best pursued excellence in the classroom and on the playing field.
Minimum qualifications included a 3.30 grade-point average, participation in at least 50 percent of the team's contests in an MEC-sponsored sport and a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each member school nominated one male and one female student-athlete.
The Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year were selected by a vote of institutional administrators and the conference office.
MEC MALE SCHOLAR-ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
2014-15 - Conor Branson (Charleston, Soccer)
2015-16 - Conor Branson (Charleston, Soccer)
2016-17 - DAN MONTEROSO (WEST LIBERTY, FOOTBALL/BASKETBALL)
2017-18 - DAN MONTEROSO (WEST LIBERTY, BASKETBALL)
2018-19 John Cominsky (Charleston, Football)
2019-20 - Tony Vezzetti (Notre Dame, Wrestling)
2020-21 - DALTON BOLON (WEST LIBERTY, BASKETBALL)