Thu Feb 5th, 2015
Special to the Drum
Tags: Alex Herrera, FLC, Fort Lewis College, ignacio high school, IHS, National Basketball League, NCAA D-II, Queensland Basketball League, RMAC, Skyhawks, United States Basketball Writers Association
There’s likely a good few Down Under following Alex Herrera’s senior-year progress here in the States.
Especially in Townsville … where hoop heads seem to really love them some defense.
Very close to the Ignacio High School graduate’s Australian arrival in – and dominance of – the Queensland Basketball League this past summer, you see, the aforementioned North Queensland city’s entry in the continent’s top-tier National Basketball League signed themselves a Herrera-style rejector in Mickell Gladness.
Swatter of 396 shots in only three seasons of NCAA Division I work at Alabama A&M – after transferring in from Lawson State (Birmingham, Ala.) Community College – the 6’11” post still holds the D-I single-game record with 16 blocks [Feb. 24, 2007, against Texas Southern; A&M totaled 21 denials, equaling Georgetown’s count achieved early in the 1993-94 season], as part of a 6.3-bpg junior campaign.
Not taken in the Derrick Rose-headed 2008 NBA Draft, he started his pro career in the Netherlands, progressed to the NBA Developmental League, finally debuted in the ‘L’ with the Miami Heat in ’11 and also saw time with Golden State later in the ’11-12 season. A couple more stints in the D-League then followed, prior to Gladness’ acquisition by the Crocodiles in June 2014.
The point is this: Someone’s going to want Herrera when the smoke clears from his attacks on the Fort Lewis College and NCAA D-II records, so don’t be surprised if it’s a club from a certain nation near Antarctica, from a region where he’s pretty well-known … even if there’s little knowledge of his recent selection as the United States Basketball Writers Association’s Division II Men’s Player-of-the-Week.
Awarded the distinction on Wednesday, Jan. 28, after averaging a 30-point, 12.5-rebound double-double during FLC’s home wins on the 23rd and 24th over Colorado Christian University and, respectively, then-No. 9 Colorado School of Mines, Herrera currently – meaning prior to the Skyhawks’ Feb. 6-7 road dates at Western New Mexico University and N.M. Highlands University – averages 23.8 ppg (on 56.8% shooting from the floor, 68.1% from the free-throw line), 11.2 rpg and 3.7 bpg as he adds to his Fort-record 281.
In the defeat of CCU, the ex-Bobcat – currently the D-II leader in blocks and blocks-per-game – sank a career-high 20 FT’s out of a career-high 26 attempts (Herrera also leads D-II in that category, while sitting second – by just one – in FT’s made).
Before going to the Land of Enchantment, FLC was 15-5 overall, 10-4 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Skyhawks’ home finale, Herrera’s last regular-season game inside Whalen Gymnasium, is set for Feb. 21st against Denver-based Regis University.
MORE GOOD NEWS
Another IHS Basketball alum received recognition as January 2015 wound down.
Current FLC junior Ryan Brooks was named to the RMAC All-Academic Team’s Honor Roll, along with junior guard Kevin Flohr. Sophomore guard Will Morse and redshirt-freshman guard Rasmus Bach – a Herrera teammate with South West Metro in the QBL – were tabbed First Team All-Academic.
It was reported that Brooks owns a 3.47 grade-point average towards an Engineering major (and Flohr, studying Business Administration, a 3.90). To date this season, the 6’8” forward has seen action in 16 games and has contributed 24 points (at rates of 50% FG, 83.3% FT) and 15 rebounds.
To qualify for First Team All-Academic status – chosen by RMAC Sports Information Directors at schools sponsoring basketball – student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA or better, be a starting player or reserve, and have completed two consecutive semesters (or three quarters) at their current institution. A player’s cumulative GPA is what he or she had earned prior to the season’s beginning.