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Basketball star Rohde named UAA's Athlete of the Year

Jeremy Peters
BILL ROTH / Daily News archive February 2012

Even when UAA's Taylor Rohde appeared to be having an off night on the basketball court this season, he almost always ended up contributing about 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Rohde's dependably superb play helped him earn many awards this season, and now he can add UAA's Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award to the list. UAA named Rohde the winner of the award Sunday at its end-of-the-year banquet.

Rohde, a 6-foot-9 senior, averaged 19.8 points and eight rebounds per game, scoring in double figures in 26 of 30 games. At no time was the center from Phoenix more impressive than in a 32-point, 11-rebound performance that helped the Seawolves defeat Montana State-Billings in the first round of the West Region NCAA Division II tournament.

The Seawolves lost to Seattle Pacific in the semifinals, but finished with a 23-7 overall record and a 15-3 record in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, where they finished second in the standings behind eventual national champion Western Washington.

Rohde, who plans to pursue a professional playing career after graduation, had a tendency to make difficult post shots look easy and made a habit of scoring on fast breaks by beating opposing big men down the floor.

His scoring average was the highest in the GNAC, as were his 62.7 percent shooting and nine double- doubles, so it was no surprise he was named GNAC Player of the Year.

Rohde impressed outside the conference as well, however, becoming the first UAA player to win National Player of the Year from the Division II Bulletin.

A consensus All-American, Rohde was also the first player to represent UAA in the Reese's NCAA Division II All-Star Game, where he scored 18 points to go with a game-high 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Rohde only played two seasons with the Seawolves after transferred from Arizona State as a junior, yet he made his mark on UAA's all-time charts. He reached 1,000 points in just 57 games, finishing 11th on UAA's all-time scoring list with 1,143 points. His career shooting percentage of 62.1 percent is a UAA record, and his career scoring average of 17.9 points per game ranks 10th all time, as does his 7.2 rebounds per game.

Interestingly, Rohde is the second player from Phoenix's Pinnacle High to be named UAA's Athlete of the Year, joining volleyball star Calli Scott, who won the award in 2010.

He's the ninth men's basketball player to claim the honor, which was first awarded in 1985.

Other nominees included Andreas Adde (men's skiing), Jaime Bronga (women's skiing), Micah Chelimo (men's cross country), Morgan Cook (gymnastics), Hanna Johansson (women's basketball), Ruth Keino (women's cross country), Haleigh Lloyd (women's track and field), Jackie Matthisen (volleyball), Jade Portwood (hockey) and David Registe (men's track and field).

The award is sponsored by the Benton Bay Athletic Lions Club and UAA Athletics and is determined by a committee of UAA staff, Benton Bay members and Anchorage media.

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.

Bill MacKay UAA Athletes of the Year

2012 -- Taylor Rohde, men's basketball

2011 -- Ruth Keino, women's cross country/track

2010 -- Calli Scott, volleyball

2009 -- David Registe, track & field

2008 -- Luke Cooper, men's basketball

2007 -- Rebecca Kielpinski, women's basketball

2006 -- Kemmy Burgess, men's basketball

2005 -- Mandy Kaempf, women's skiing/cross country running

2004 -- Peter Bullock, men's basketball

2003 -- Tobias Schwoerer, men's skiing/cross country running

2002 -- Tobias Schwoerer, men's skiing/cross country running

2001 -- Ed Kirk, men's basketball

2000 -- Edda Mutter, women's skiing

1999 -- Jim Hajdukovich, men's basketball

1998 -- Zuzana Razusova, women's skiing

1997 -- tie: Frode Lillefjell, men's skiing/cross country running, and Elena Tkacheva, gymnastics

1996 -- Allegra Stoetzel, women's basketball

1995 -- tie: Jason Kaiser, men's basketball, and Karen Hoey, gymnastics

1994 -- Kerry Robitaille, gymnastics

1993 -- Jennie Szczerbinski, volleyball

1992 -- Jon Pauole, swimming

1991 -- Paul Krake, hockey

1990 -- Teri Frankie, gymnastics

1989 -- Michael Johnson, men's basketball

1988 -- Robin Graul, women's basketball

1987 -- Hansi Gnad, men's basketball

1986 -- Teri Frankie, gymnastics

1985 -- Tiina Kantola, women's skiing/cross country running.


By JEREMY PETERS
Anchorage Daily News