Basketball teams disappoint but earn individual awards

While both of the College’s basketball teams had their playoff runs ended by Rowan University, several Lions’ players were honored for their performance on the court during the regular season.

Senior guard Derick Grant capped off a spectacular career last Wednesday by being named the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Player of the Year.

As the conference’s only player to pour in over 500 points this year, Grant earned Pony Wilson Player of the Year honors by topping the NJAC in scoring with 20.8 points per game and leading his Lions to a 17-9, third-place finish this season. The Lions’ tri-captain and floor leader finished 15th in the league with 2.04 assists per game, fifth in free-throw percentage at .793, fourth in three point shooting percentage at .389 and third in minutes played.

Grant was a two-time All-Conference selection during his four years at the College and twice garnered NJAC Player of the Week honors during his senior season. He concludes his career as the College’s second leading scorer with 1,543 career points.

The success of the Lions’ women this season was rewarded with plenty of individual awards as well.

Senior forward Theresa DiMedio was named the NJAC Co-Player of the Year and junior guard Tiara Simpkins was picked as the NJAC Defensive Player of the Year. DiMedio and junior guard Alexa Shields were picked to represent the Lions on the NJAC All-Conference First Team, while junior forward Erin Frank earned an honorable mention.

DiMedio and Shields tied for the team scoring lead, both averaging 11.3 points per game. Frank led the Lions with 7.3 rebounds per game.

Women’s head coach Dawn Henderson was picked as the NJAC Coach of the Year. It is the fourth time she has been honored as the top coach, having also earned the award in 1994, 1999 and 2002.

Under her guidance, the program has garnered two NJAC Championships and advanced to the NCAA Division III second round five times, including last year’s appearance. Henderson has accumulated a record of 234-83 to date in 12 seasons at the College, making her the school’s all-time wins leader for a coach. Since her arrival at the College, the Lions have participated in 11 of 12 NJAC tournaments.