The St. Thomas Aquinas College athletic department was well-represented at the annual Metropolitan Basketball Writers' Association on Wednesday, April 25, at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY. Women's Basketball Head Coach Kim Lusk, players Jenna Erickson and Adiya Henderson, and men's hoops guard/forward Justin Reyes each received honors.
Erickson has been recognized for her stellar senior season – which included the Spartans' first-ever East Coast Conference Championship and NCAA Division II East Region Tournament appearance - by being named as the Met's Division II Women's Player of the Year. The guard averaged 16.9 points per game and was an integral part of the team's 27-5 record, which was highlighted by lengthy winning streaks of 10 and 8. She adds to her trophy collection, which includes kudos as ECC Player of the Year, ECC Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament, All-Conference and All-Region Selections. Jenna finished her career with 1,826 points (third in STAC history) and 331 made three-point field goals (second in ECC history).
Not to be forgotten, Henderson, in her final season with the Spartans, continued with a strong campaign of her own, which included 10.3 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, ECC Defensive Player of the Year and a Second Team All-Conference selections. Adiya's contributions continued in the post season, as she scored in double figures in 3 of the 4 Spartan tournament contests and was named to the ECC All-Tournament Team. As a result of her outstanding play, she was named and All-Met Second Team selection.
For her efforts as the architect of the ECC Champion STAC squad, Kim Lusk was awarded her second career (2011 & 2018) All-Met Coach of the Year honors. In her tenth season, Lusk piloted her team to a 27-5 overall record, the program's first ECC Tournament Title and an NCAA Division II East Region Tournament appearance, where the Spartans won their first-ever game in the Round of 64 against Caldwell University. The stifling Spartan Defense finished the 2017-2018 campaign ranked #2 in all of Division II (53.4 points allowed per game).
On the men's side, Justin Reyes was recognized with All-Met Player of the Year honors of his own, for the third consecutive year. Reyes, who was tabbed as the ECC Preseason Player of the Year, lived up to those expectations and surpassed them. Justin added to his extensive list of career accolades this season, as he was named ECC Player of the Year, ECC Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament, East Region Player of the Year, All Conference, All-Region, and an All-American for multiple organizations. In addition, the Haverhill, Mass. native was once again a finalist for the Bevo Francis Small College Basketball Award. In 2017-2018, Reyes tallied 22.2 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game, while setting personal, institutional and conference records. Justin finished his career with 2,247 points (second in STAC history), 1,144 rebounds, and set new ECC records in total field goals made (825) and became the league's All-Time Leading Scorer.
Wednesday's awards were presented as part of the 85th Annual MBWA Haggarty Awards Dinner. The Met recognizes top hoops achievements throughout the New York Metropolitan area with weekly and seasonal awards across all three NCAA Divisions.