JBU alumnus receives SAC honor

Former JBU First Team All-American and NAIA National Player of the Year, Brandon Cole has been named to the NAIA’s 75th Anniversary Men’s Basketball All-Star Team.

The team, which is comprised of 60 athletes and 15 coaches, commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the longest continuous national basketball tournament in any sport in the country, the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship.

Cole, who was the 2006 NAIA Player of the Year, had an illustrious career at John Brown. In 2005, he led JBU to an NAIA National Championship win over Azusa Pacific while being named the NAIA National Tournament MVP. He also received NAIA First Team All-American honors twice. His collegiate record of 527 career 3-point field goals made is more than any player in the history of college basketball at any level. This includes four games with nine 3-point field goals made and five games with eight.

At the end of the 2005-06 season, Cole was also awarded the 2006 Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the NAIA.

Members of the All-Star Team have been invited to be a part of the festivities in mid-March at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City. Attendees will be recognized with a special reception preceding the National Championship final on March 20 and then introduced at halftime of that contest.

A special committee of current and former coaches, tournament staff, dedicated media and long-time supporters was created to help with the selection process. After fans voted on a web site ballot, this committee followed several criteria to select the 75th Anniversary All-Star Team. Criteria included and in no particular order: performance at a national tournament, game statistics, involvement in a national championship-winning team; status on All-Tournament Team and/or Tournament MVP.

The NAIA is proud of its 75-year history and the advancement of character-driven intercollegiate athletics. From the origins in 1937 when Central Missouri State Teacher’s College (now University of Central Missouri) won the first title game to the creation of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1952, the NAIA has evolved into a membership-driven association. Icons such as John Wooden, Dr. James Naismith, Emil Liston, Travis Grant and Terry Porter have all been an integral part of our history.

The National Championship will play out March 14 – 20 from downtown Kansas City, Mo. For tickets, call 816.595.8141. The tournament is a single-elimination format with 32 teams playing up to five games in six days for a chance at the prized Naismith trophy.