COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA Division II Basketball Committee Thursday announced its selection for the 2017 Spalding® NJCAA DII Basketball Player of the Year – awarding Pima’s (AZ) outstanding sophomore forward Deion James with the honor.
As the center piece of Pima’s 2017 campaign, James helped the Aztecs to a 22-win season – the most wins for the program since 1990. Pima went undefeated in conference play can took home the Region 1 championship to earn the eighth-seed berth in the Division II national tournament.
Along the way James led Region 1 Division II players with 20.6 points per game. He also averaged 9.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest and took home the Region 1 / Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) Player of the Year award.
At the national tournament, James made the most of his appearance on the championship stage, posting 30 points and five rebounds in the Aztecs’ opening round victory over Waubonsee (IL).
For the season, James finished among the top of the national leaderboard in several categories. He ranked sixth in free throws netted – 178 - while shooting 77.4 percent from the charity stripe. He also finished in the in the top 10 nationally in points scored (680) and defensive rebounds (236).
James is currently undecided on where he will continue his collegiate career and is being recruited by several NCAA Division I programs.
Photo by Deb Edwards
Since the 2013-14 season, Spalding has sponsored the NJCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Coach and Player of the Year awards. Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) as well as the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, the official baseball of the NJCAA and Little League World Series® and the official volleyball of the King of the Beach® Volleyball Tour. In addition to being the leading producer and marketer of basketballs, baseballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley® brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.