Springfield, Mass. - February 27, 2018 - In the midst of a standout sophomore season in which he's help lead the Springfield College men's basketball team back to the NCAA Division III Championship, Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) was named the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men's Basketball Athlete of the Year as well as the NEWMAC Men's Basketball Co-Defensive Athlete of the Year.
Ross becomes just the third Springfield College men's basketball student-athlete to earn the athlete of the year recognition from the NEWMAC, as Michael Parker earned the award twice in 2000 and 2001, while Alex Berthiaume garnered the accolade in 2012. Additionally, Ross in the first-ever Springfield College men's basketball player to earn NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Year honors, an award he shared with MIT's Nacho Nwana.
Last year's NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, Ross put together a dominant campaign as the Pride earned its first-ever outright NEWMAC regular-season title as it went 12-2 in conference play, marking the most NEWMAC wins in program history. He leads the NEWMAC in total field goals (228), free throws made (128), defensive rebounds (211), steals (64), rebounds per game (9.9), and points per game (24.3), while hist 16 double doubles this season is the eighth most in Division III. In the storied history of men's basketball at Springfield College, the Recreation Management major has tallied the fifth most points ever in a season (633).
Ross was tabbed a NEWMAC All-Conference First Team selection for the second-straight season, while classmate Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) garnered NEWMAC Second Team All-Conference honors for the first time in his career. The Enviornmental Science major had a breakout year for the Pride and ranked first in the conference in blocks (37), second in total rebounds (235), third in rebounds per game (9.0), and fifth in free throws (87-110) to go along with 12.4 points per game.
Additionally, senior Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) was named to the NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship Team. The award is intended to recognize one student-athlete from each team, in every sport that best demonstrates the ideals of the NEWMAC and its Code of Conduct.
Springfield will hit the courts on Friday evening in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship when the Pride face Albright at Cabrini University at 5:30 pm on Friday, March 2.