Fugh, Benedict named to USCAA All-American teams
The basketball season is over for Georgia Northwestern, but the basketball awards season has just begun.
Two GNTC studentathletes have been recognized nationally for their achievements both on and off the court.
Sophomore Darrius Fugh was named on Tuesday as a USCAA Division II Honorable Mention AllAmerican, while Lady Bobcats sophomore Carrie Benedict earned Academic AllAmerican honors for DII.
“It’s a blessing to get this honor,” Fugh said. “Really, it’s a blessing just to be nominated. I really don’t know what to say. I think had a pretty good year and I had a lot of fun just playing with my teammates. I never knew how much fun playing ball could be. I’ve got a lot of brothers and friends now since I’ve been playing (for Georgia Northwestern) and had a lot of great experiences.”
The former Pepperell High standout had another record-setting season. In 23 games, Fugh set a new single-season mark by averaging an even 23 points game, breaking his own record of 19.7 set last year. He scored 30 or more three times, including a new single-game record of 39 against Hiwassee College on Feb. 9.
He finished 10th in the nation in USCAA Division II in scoring, was 23rd in rebounding (8.4), was fifth in free throws per game and third nationally in free throw percentage (84.7).
Fugh was one of 11 Honorable Mention selections, along with 10 First Team and 10 Second Team picks nationwide.
“Darrius just had a phenomenal year, pointwise and reboundingwise and he picked up his shot blocking as well,” head coach David Stephenson said. “He’s a real multi-functional player. He can shoot the three, but he’s got cat-like quickness and can take it to the basket. Plus, he can also defend. He’s the type of all-around player you want at the three or four spot.”
Jordan Young of Penn State Lehigh Valley was named the Student Athlete of the Year for Division II, while Berkeley College of New York produced the Coach of the Year in Chris Christiansen and the Player of the Year in Massiah Merritt.
Benedict, an alum of Adairsville High, earned Academic AllAmerican honors by sporting a 4.0 grade point average, while taking 56 hours’ worth of classes in Automotive Technology.
“For one, having a 4.0 (GPA) as a female in a predominantly male-oriented program is super impressive,” Stephenson added. “But Carrie has missed maybe three practices in the two years she’s been with us. She takes classes in Rome and drives (to Rossville) from Adairsville for every practice.
“She’s always where she needs to be and she’s always there with a smile on her face. She’s really a great kid.”