ALLEN – Three Wesley Christian boys’ basketball players have earned NACA All-American honors.
Wesley Christian’s Benson Lin and Christian Alex Lorng were honored as NACA All-Americans and Circuit Rider Mason Shifflett was selected to the All-Newcomers team.
All three Wesley Christian players hold NCAA Division 1 offers and will be back in Allen to play for the Riders during the 2017-18 season.
“This is a big accomplishment for these student-athletes and any time you can be on a list with other schools and players that represent the National Association of Christian Athletics, it’s an honor,” said Wesley Christian Coach David Meddings.
The Wesley Christian coach was quick to compliment each player.
“Christian became a dominant big man this season for us and moving forward we expect even bigger accolades next year,” said Meddings. “I’m extremely proud of his maturity and leadership in this past year. This kid works so hard and is only scratching the surface of his potential. I’m excited for him to get an accolade to award his commitment to me and Wesley Christian.
“Benson Lin has arrived, the kid can play and is making a world-known name for himself. And yet it doesn’t phase him, he will have many accolades and he accepts them all the same. He works harder the next day. Benson was our leading scorer on the year but the other things he did on and off the court set him aside from others on an elite level of commitment and talent. We are honored to have Benson’s All-American status in the NACA.
“Mason Shifflett came to us from Louisville, where he could have been a star player at his public school. Mason sacrificed his high school stardom for the better of our program, our team and himself. He was our grit of the team and one of the toughest kids we have. It helps he shot the ball at a high level as well. Only a sophomore, he was one of just two players selected nationally for the newcomers team of the NACA All-Americans. I’m extremely proud as a coach for this honor for him and he deserves it as much as anyone. Mason has a bright future and the nation is starting to take notice.
“I am proud of all three of my players that have received this accolade and look forward to their return to Allen next season. We have a lot of talent and hardworking kids here and would like for the community to get behind these great kids. The three also excel in the classroom. Mason was selected to do early college classes next season and has a 3.8 great point average, taking some of the harder classes we offer. Benson had a 3.8 grade point average his last report card and an A in one of our toughest classes, calculus. Christian has maintained a 4.0 grade point average all year and also has an A in calculus. They are the leaders in the stat columns and the classroom by just doing things the right way all the time and working for their dreams.”
Under Meddings’ guidance, Wesley Christian excelled throughout the 2016-17 season, capturing a national championship in March. Wesley Christian ranks as one of the nation’s top prep boys’ basketball programs and is already preparing for the 2017-18 season.
Kentucky signee Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is among the other NACA All-Americans. The Kentucky-bound player chose to be a Wildcat after receiving offers from other programs throughout the country.
The list of NACA basketball honorees follows.
NACA Boys’ Elite/Division I All-American Team
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (TN)
Mladen Armus, Southwest Christian Academy (AR)
Shakur Daniel, Southwest Christian Academy (AR)
Ubong Okon, New Rock Prep Sports Academy (GA)
Oscar Tshbiewe, Mountain Mission School (VA)
Avery Benson, Southwest Christian Academy (AR)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (TN)
Benson Lin, Wesley Christian (KY)
Christian Lorng, Wesley Christian (KY)
Therren Shelton-Szmidt, Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (TN)
NACA Boys’ All-Newcomers
Mason Shifflett, Wesley Christian (KY)
Jamonte Smith, Faith Christian (VA)
Steve LeMaster is the editor of The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.