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Athletes of Distinction





David Rowlands Award
2011 NJCAA David Rowlands Award - Keenyn Walker

By Gage Axford, NJCAA Student Assistant

Baseball standout Keenyn Walker of Central Arizona College is the 2011 NJCAA David Rowlands Male Student-Athlete of the Year. The David Rowlands Award is given annually to a male NJCAA student-athlete that displays hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder from Salt Lake City, Utah is the fifth baseball player to receive the award.

Walker helped lead the Vaqueros to the 2011 NJCAA Division I World Series Championship Game, where they came up short 6-4 via a walk-off two run home run in the 10th inning to Navarro College (Texas).  This was Central Arizona College’s best performance in NJCAA DI World Series since 2002, when the Vaqueros won the National Championship.

Known for his excellent speed, Walker led all of NJCAA DI baseball in stolen bases with 70 for the season. Even further, he had the second most runs scored among the NJCAA DI ranks with 84.  He had an on-base percentage of .509 and a batting average of .412 in 238 at-bats.  His 98 hits ranked second in the NJCAA as was his 10 triples. He also ranked in the Top 25 nationally with 59 RBI’s. 

“His dedication to work hard and doing things right made him a very good baseball player---one that learned the importance of how to act both on and off the field,” said Central Arizona College head baseball coach Jon Wente. “He has meant so much to our baseball program both on and off the field the past two years.”        

Along with earning First-Team Region 1 honors, Walker finished his final season for the Vaqueros as a NJCAA DI First-Team All-American and as the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Year. His 1.000 fielding percentage for the season also landed him on the 2011 NJCAA Division I Rawlings Gold Glove Team.

The switch-hitter was just recently drafted as a first round compensation pick for the Chicago White Sox, who selected him 47th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft, making him the 21st highest selection straight from an NJCAA program in the history of the MLB June First-Year Player Draft.  This is the third time Walker has been drafted, as the Chicago Cubs selected him in the 16th round in 2009 and the Philadelphia Phillies drafted him in the 38th round in 2010. Walker recently signed a professional contract with the White Sox and is currently playing in the Pioneer League (Advanced Rookie League) in Montana for the Great Falls Voyagers. He made his pro debut on July 10th and hit a double in his first at-bat. 

ABOUT the NJCAA DAVID ROWLANDS AWARD
David Rowlands was an active member of the NJCAA from 1972 to 1988. He was a regional director during that time and from 1975 to 1988 was the chair of the NJCAA baseball committee. Rowlands, a baseball coach at Truman College (Chicago, Ill.), served on the NJCAA gymnastics, golf, executive and eligibility committees. Rowlands was the perfect model of hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics. This award is given annually to the NJCAA Student-Athlete that best exhibits these traits.

NJCAA ROWLANDS AWARD RECEPIENTS

Year

Name

Sport

College; City, State

1992-1993

Mike Worley

Basketball

Coffeyville Community College; Coffeyville, Kan.

1993-1994

Eddie Samuel

Basketball

Pensacola Junior College; Pensacola, Fla.

1994-1995

Joe Michael Robertson

Football

Jones County Junior College ; Ellisville, Miss.

1995-1996

Doug Thompson

Baseball

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College ; Perkinston, Miss.

1996-1997

William Gladness

Basketball

Carl Albert State College; Poteau, Okla.

1997-1998

Shawn Marion

Basketball

Vincennes University; Vincennes, Ind.

1998-1999

Anthony Evans

Basketball

Neosho County Community College; Chanute, Kan.

1999-2000

Mario Toledo

Tennis

Georgia Perimeter College; Dunwoody, Ga.

2000-2001

Marc Dunn

Football

Ricks College; Rexburg, Idaho

2001-2002

Cory Patton

Baseball

Seward County Community College; Liberal, Kan.

2002-2003

Filiberto Rivera

Basketball

Southeastern Community College; West Burlington, Iowa

2003-2004

Larry Kendrick

Football

Pearl River Community College ; Poplarville, Miss.

2004-2005

Michael Murray

Baseball

Meridian Community College; Meridian, Miss

2005-2006

Brian Flores

Baseball

New Mexico Junior College; Hobbs, N.M.

2006-2007

Cody Jamieson

Lacrosse

Onondaga Community College; Syracuse, N.Y.

2007-2008

Devron Bostick

Basketball

Southwestern Illinois College; Belleville , Ill.

2008-2009

Chris Mason

Cross Country/
Track & Field

SUNY – Delhi; Delhi, N.Y.

2009-2010

Ricardo Ratliffe

Men’s Basketball

College of Central Florida

2010-2011 Keenyn Walker Baseball Central Arizona College
























































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