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Locally: Five area basketball players earn academic awards

From staff and news services

Five area athletes – four men and one woman – have been named to College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District 8 teams in basketball, making them eligible for Academic All-America honors.

The list includes three of the five named to the district’s Division I men’s team – Domantas Sabonis of Gonzaga, Venky Jois of Eastern Washington and Josh Hawkinson of Washington State.

And for the second straight season, KC McConnell and George Valle of Whitworth were named to the women’s and men’s Division III teams, respectively.

Sabonis, a sophomore from Kaunas, Lithuania, has a 3.46 grade-point average while majoring in sport management. Jois, a senior from Boronia, Australia, has a 3.49 GPA as a pre-med/interdisciplinary studies major. Hawkinson, a junior from Shoreline, Washington, has a 3.30 GPA as a business major.

McConnell, a senior from Clarkston, has a double major in kinesiology and education with a GPA of 3.95. Valle, a senior marketing major from Sammamish of Bellevue, has a 3.79 GPA.

All advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot from which first, second and third teams will be selected later this month. To qualify for nomination, a student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25, be a sophomore or higher and be a starter or key reserve.


Mike Redmond, the Spokane native who parlayed an all-conference baseball career at Gonzaga University into a professional career capped by three-plus years as a major league manager, is GU’s 2016 selection into the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor.

A catcher, the Gonzaga Prep graduate played three years at GU, earning first-team All-Pac-10 honors his sophomore and junior seasons, before turning pro. He signed as a free agent with the Florida Marlins in August 1992 and made his major league debut with Florida in 1998.

In 13 seasons in the big leagues – seven with Florida, with whom he won a World Series ring in 2003; five with Minnesota; and one with Cleveland – he compiled a .287 batting average and .996 fielding percentage, the second highest for a catcher in major league history. He went seven seasons without an error, including five in a row with Minnesota from 2005-09. His career high batting average was .341 with Minnesota in 2006.

In 2013, after two years managing at Class A, Redmond became manager of the Marlins and finished fifth in National League Manager of the Year balloting in 2014. In May of 2015 he was let go.

This is the eighth year the WCC has honored one individual from each of its 10 member schools for their college and life-long accomplishments. Others in the 2016 class that will be feted on March 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in conjunction with the conference basketball championships:

BYU – Dylann Duncan Ceriani, volleyball. Loyola Marymount – Kate Dunn (Murray), basketball. Pacific – Ron Cornelius, basketball. Pepperdine – Maureen Formico-Caloiaro, basketball. Portland – Bill Krueger, baseball and basketball. Saint Mary’s – David Vann, basketball. San Diego – Susie Barosso (Erpelding), basketball. San Francisco – Bill Cartwright, basketball. Santa Clara – Randy Winn, baseball and basketball.

Tom Jager, the Washington State swimming coach since 2011, has been named to the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Olympic Sports All-Century Team for his success at UCLA from 1984-87.

Jager, a freestyle sprint specialist, earned five individual NCAA championships and one relay championship. Individually, he won two NCAA titles in the 100-yard freestyle in 1983 and 1984, two in the 50 free in 1984 and 1985 and one in the 100 backstroke in 1985. In 1984, he was named Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year and later earned two Olympic gold medals as a member of U.S. relay teams.

After college, Jager added two Olympic golds from relays and a silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle in the 1988 Olympic Games. He closed out his Olympic career in 1992 with a gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay and a bronze in the 50-meter freestyle.

Jager is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame and the USA Swim Team of the Century. He is a former captain of the U.S. National Team, won 11 national titles and held the 50-meter freestyle world record three times, including a 10-year run from 1990-2000.

He coached at the University of Idaho for seven years before taking over at WSU.

College scene

Four Washington State volleyball players – junior Kyra Holt, sophomore Casey Schoenlein and freshmen McKenna Woodford and Taylor Mims – have been invited to the three-day open tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Team and U.S. Collegiate National Teams Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Holt, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter from Hercules, California, was a 2015 All-Pac-12 selection. Schoenlein is a 6-5 outside hitter from Bellevue. Woodford, a 6-4 outside hitter from Chandler, Arizona, was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. Mims is a 6-3 middle blocker from Billings.

There will be 231 athletes from 88 colleges in the evaluation camp.

Match Burnham’s career-high and school-record performance for Carroll last weekend gained the freshman from Liberty national recognition.

Burnham, whose 39-point performance included a 19-for-19 mark from the free-throw line, was named the NAIA Division I National Men’s Basketball Player of the Week after collecting the same weekly honor from the Frontier Conference.

“I’m happy for Match,” coach Carson Cunningham said. “He’s worked hard to put himself into a position to help his team and to develop as a player. He’s all-in when it comes to hoops, school and, most importantly, trying to be a good person.”

Burnham, whose 39 points was his third career high in a four-game stretch, set school records for free-throw percentage and number of free throws made in a game in an 88-80 win at Rocky Mountain. The 19 for 19 is the fifth-best performance in NAIA history. He played 35 minutes and was also 8 of 16 from the field, including 4 of 7 on 3-pointers.

Letters of intent

North Idaho College women’s soccer – Sadie Schmeling, Post Falls.

Evergreen State College women’s soccer – Allison Crain, Post Falls.


The Spokane Junior Rifle Club Gold team placed fourth nationally in the Precision classification at the U.S. Army Junior National Air Rifle Championships when results for the 2 1/2- month competition were tabulated.

SJRC, with four of its five shooters finishing in the top 45 individually out of 283, compiled a team score of 2,282. The winning score was 2,316. The fourth-place finish out of 59 teams earned it a spot in the National Championships in Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Katie Loudin, 17, of Post Falls, led SJRC, shooting 573 to place 27th individually. The winning score was 589. Other team members with their scores and national finish: Cassidy Wilson, 15, home schooled, 572, 33rd; Maliya Hillman, 16, Lewis and Clark, 570, 35th; Aidan Maddox, 16, Riverpoint Academy, 568, 45th; and Mike Cooper, 18, Mt. Spokane, 562, 73rd.

SJRC had 19 in the championships, 15 in Precision, which is a 60-shot standing competition from 33 feet, and four in Sporter, 20 shots each from prone, kneeling and standing positions from 33 feet.

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