Willamette Receives Team Academic Award from NABC for 5th Consecutive Year

Jonathan Watts (Fr. in 2018-19, G, San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS)
Jonathan Watts (Fr. in 2018-19, G, San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's basketball team has received the Team Academic Excellence Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) for the 2018-19 season. The Bearcats earned the honor for the fifth year in a row.

This year, 150 college teams from all three NCAA divisions, both NAIA divisions and the NJCAA qualified for the award. Willamette and Linfield College were the only Northwest Conference teams to qualify. Willamette is the only NWC team that has received the award each of the last five seasons.

"Our guys over the past five years have made this an expectation of each other," Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane said. "That drive to succeed in the classroom is contagious and I am proud to be able to watch them continue to earn this honor."

In order to qualify for the the Team Academic Excellence Award the cumulative grade point average for a team had to be at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Each team's GPA included all players who competed during the season.

The Bearcats finished 2018-19 with an 9-16 overall record. Senior Jordan Jenkins (F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) was named First Team All-NWC, was a finalist for the Jostens Trophy and was chosen Third Team All-West Region. He averaged 22.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Ioane and Jenkins were presenters at the NCAA Inclusion Forum.

Willamette will open the 2019-20 regular season with a home game against Montclair State (N.J.) on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Cone Field House . Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. (PST).