Charlotte, NC – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), with its Men’s and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and Sports Information Directors Association, announces the 2018 Men’s & Women’s Coaches of the Year, Women’s and Men’s Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Rookie of the Year. These outstanding coaches and student-athletes were formally recognized Monday (Feb. 26) during the annual Tip-Off Awards Luncheon.
After finishing No. 1 in the Northern Division, Coach AnnMarie Gilbert of Virginia Union University has earned her third consecutive Coach of the Year honor. This season Coach Gilbert has led her team to a 15-1 record in conference play while marking an overall record of 25-2. Coming into this year’s tournament ranked No. 1 and being ranked No. 1 in the Atlantic Region, Coach Gilbert and her Lady Panthers are picked to be the top contenders for this year’s tournament. Coach Gilbert is looking forward to a comeback the 2017 CIAA Tournament when her team was eliminated, yet went on to finish Runner-Up in the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship. The Lady Panthers are set to play Wednesday, February 28, 2018 versus the winner between Saint Augustine’s University and Chowan University. Tip-off is set for 2:20 PM in Charlotte, NC at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
In his fourth season with Virginia State University, Coach Lonnnie Blow, Jr. has earned his third Coach of the Year honor. Coach Blow led his program to a 13-3 record in conference play and a 23-3 overall record this season. The Trojans have had some major victories this season including wins over Norfolk State University, Pitt-Johnson University, and Indiana (PA) University. Coming into this year’s tournament ranked No. 1 and being ranked No. 2 in the Atlantic Region, Coach Blow and the Trojans are picked to be the top contenders in this year’s tournament. The Trojans are set to play Wednesday, February 28, 2018 versus the winner between Saint Augustine’s University and Chowan University. Tip-off is set for 6:40 PM in Charlotte, NC at Bojangles’ Coliseum.
Alexis Johnson, a senior forward from Virginia Union University, has been named Women’s CIAA Player of the Year and Women’s Defensive Player of the Year. Johnson is an offensive threat, ranked second in the conference in points per game and averaging seventeen points per game. She is currently fifth in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 51.1 percent. This season alone she has recorded 80 blocks against opponents and she averages 9 rebounds per game.
Rookie guard, Shareka McNeill of Virginia Union has earned Women’s Rookie of the Year honors. The Charlotte, NC native averages 12.7 points per game, while shooting 41.2 percent from the field. She also adds 42 steals, 54 assists, and 71 rebounds on the season.
Johnson C. Smith University’s senior guard, Robert Davis III, has been named Men’s CIAA Player of the Year. This season Davis has topped the conference in total points scored with 590. He carries his team with an impressive 21.9 points per game and he is leading the conference in free throw percentage with 88.2 percent.
Senior forward Quincy January of Saint Augustine’s University has been named Men’s Defensive Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. January has always produced impressive defensive numbers and this year is no different. He leads the conference in rebounds per game with eleven and his 264 rebounds on the season ranks him second among CIAA competitors. He also has 16 steals and 21 blocks for the season.
Rookie guard Zaccheus Hobbs has been a great addition for Elizabeth City State University and has earned the Men’s Rookie of the Year honor. Hobbs has scored 327 points this season, averaging 12.6 points per game. He has also recorded 36 steals and 91 assists in his first CIAA season.
For more information regarding the 2018 CIAA Basketball Tournament, visit ciaatournament.org. Follow the CIAA on social media via Facebook (TheCIAA), Twitter (@CIAAForLife), Instagram (@CIAASports), or download the CIAA mobile app available for Apple and Android devices.
More Luncheon Highlights (photos courtesy of CIAA)