Rohde named UAA men's basketball team MVP

For the second year in a row, Taylor Rohde was named MVP of the UAA men's basketball team, capping a season in which the 6-foot-7 senior center led the Seawolves into the playoffs and was named the NCAA Division II Player of the Year.

Rohde, who transferred to UAA after two seasons at Arizona State, furnished UAA with 19.8 points and 8.0 rebounds a game and tallied 12 double-doubles.

A consensus All-American who also earned West Region and Great Northwest Athletic Conference player-of-the-year honors, Rohde helped UAA to its second-best record -- 23-7.

Rohde was one of four seniors to collect individual honors at Friday night's team banquet. Other awards went to a junior and two sophomores.

Collecting honors were:

• Steve White, a senior point guard from Manley, Australia, claimed a pair of honors. His teammates voted him Most Inspirational Player and he also earned the Jim Hajdukovich Award, which annually honors the player who best displays physical toughness, endurance and court awareness.

White was a fiery sparkplug who averaged 8.0 points on 51 percent shooting and a team-high 5.0 assists per game. He finished his career ranked fourth all-time in assists (336) and victories (76) and sixth for number of games played (113).

• Lonnie Ridgeway, a senior wing from Anchorage's Heritage Christian, received the Coaches' Award, bestowed for positive attitude and commitment to the team concept.

A gifted rebounder, Ridgeway missed 11 games with a midseason injury yet finished as the team's fourth-leading scorer with 9.0 points per game and its second leading rebounder with 3.6 per game.

• Phillip Hearn, a senior forward from West High, won the Bob Zundel Rebounders Trophy, given to the player who best displays the qualities of sportsmanship and leadership toward teammates, coaches, referees, opponents, media and fans.

A bad shoulder limited his playing time but not his intensity or grit; he appeared in 27 games, averaged 2.6 points and 1.7 rebounds, was a defensive stopper and supplied energy anytime he entered a game.

• Travis Thompson, a 6-1 sophomore guard from Dimond, was named Best Defensive Player. He averaged 11.8 points, 3.9 assists and a team-high 1.2 steals per game. He was a second-team all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference pick.

• Kyle Fossman, a 6-0 sophomore guard from Haines, earned Most Improved honors. He went from limited playing time as a freshman, averaging about seven minutes per game, to a starting role this season. He was UAA's third-leading scorer with 10.5 points per game.

• Liam Gibcus, a 6-10 center from Lysterfield, Australia, took home the Academic Achievement award for the second straight season with a 3.85 grade-point average as a civil engineering major. Gibcus's GPA was the second-best in the GNAC.

The MVP, Most Improved, Best Defensive and Most Inspirational awards were determined by a team vote.

Anchorage Daily News