Fri Aug 5th, 2016
Special to the Drum
Gone – or in this case, graduated – but not forgotten.
Having helped Fort Lewis College to its greatest men’s basketball season ever, former Ignacio Bobcat Ryan Brooks also helped FLC to one of its best academic years ever before accepting his degree late in the spring.
On Tuesday, July 26, Brooks was one of four Skyhawks named to the 2015-16 National Basketball Coaches Association Honors Court, along with now-senior guards Will Morse and Kain Lucero (who transferred in after two years at Otero Junior College in La Junta, following his decorated days at 3A Pagosa Springs) and now-junior guard Rasmus Bach.
To qualify for the Honors Court, recognizing – according to the NABC – the talents and gifts student-athletes possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit, one must be a junior or senior academically, have a 3.2 grade-point average or higher following the academic year, and attend their current NCAA or NAIA institution (with a NABC member coach) for at least a year.
Additionally, while earning his B.S. in Engineering, Brooks was a forward on a roster, which also earned the NABC’s Team Academic Excellence Award for the second time in its four-year existence. Bob Pietrack’s ’Hawks compiled a 3.02 GPA in the ’15-16 year, to join Bob Hofman’s 2012-13 team in earning the distinction.
Currently owning the longest home-court winning streak (19, with the most recent 17 booked this past season) in NCAA Division II, dating back to 2014-15, Fort Lewis went 28-4 overall – a program-record for victories – and won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s regular-season and Tournament championships in ’15-16, en route to earning the NCAA South Central Regional’s 2-seed.
Brooks saw action in 16 games during the historic campaign, scoring six (2-of-11 from the floor, 2-of-4 from the free-throw line) points, grabbing eight rebounds and nabbing one steal.
Learning the backcourt ropes from FLC veterans Bach (14.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Morse (11.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.9 apg) this past winter, as well as general team dynamics from Brooks, Lucero saw minutes in 17 games and contributed 19 points, four boards, two assists and a steal.