Three UPIKE men’s basketball players named NAIA All-Americans

Staff Report

PIKEVILLE – The NAIA All-America Committee announced its 2015-16 teams and honorable-mention selections on Thursday which included three senior members of the University of Pikeville men’s basketball team.

K.K. Simmons made the 10-member third team for the second straight season, Macari Brooks earned a second straight honorable mention, while Christian Leach was also an honorable mention, giving him his first all-America honor.

The trio led the Bears to a 26-5 overall record, helping them to a fourth straight trip to the NAIA National Tournament. With the three honors, Pikeville has now gone 10 straight seasons with at least one NAIA All-American.

Simmons led UPIKE in scoring at 16.4 points per game, making an NAIA 21st-best 83 3-pointers at 39.2 percent. During the regular-season, Simmons reached 1,000 career points in just two years at the school, finishing his career with 1,177 points which ranks 20th on UPIKE’s all-time scoring list.

The Marietta, Ga., native had his best performance of the season against Life (Ga.) on Jan. 18, pouring in 29 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, including making 5 of 11 threes.

Brooks, a native of Chicago, Ill., finished second of the team at 14.3 point per game while also pulling down six rebounds per contest and dishing out 64 assists. Brooks ranked 19th nationally in free-throw shooting at 82.9 percent. His season-high scoring output was reached twice, tallying 28 points against Montreat (N.C.) and Bluefield (Va.).

Leach emerged as a leader for UPIKE, finishing third on the team in scoring at 14 points per game, pulling down nearly six boards per game, swiping a team-best 49 steals and dishing out a second-best 70 assists.

The Washington, D.C., native ranked 11th nationally in shooting at 56.7 percent and 34th in the NAIA in total steals. Leach poured in a career-high 30 points to help the Bears top Life at home and was stellar down the stretch, scoring in double figures in six of the team’s last seven contests.

Staff Report

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