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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University junior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) received his most prestigious recognition to date by being named today (March 22) to the 2009-10 State Farm® Coaches' All-America Team.
With his selection to the 16-member State Farm® Coaches' All-America Team chosen by National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) members from across the country, Keenan becomes the first-ever All-America pick at the Division II level in Ferris State men's basketball history.
Additionally, Keenan is also the first Bulldog player in 36 years to claim All-America accolades and joins four previous players to achieve the distinction in Ferris men's hoops history. The Bulldogs' previous All-America performers all played at the NAIA level and included Bernie Kilpatrick (1963-64), Jesse Mangham (1968-69), Dennis Johnson (1973) and Lewis Garner (1974).
"This is a great honor for Justin and he's earned it," said FSU head coach Bill Sall. "He's one of the hardest-working players I've ever been around and continues to get better and better. We're thrilled he's achieved this recognition."
Keenan was among 16 players from across the nation tabbed to the All-America Team, which consisted of a single list. He was the only player from a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) school named to the team and one of only two honorees from the entire Midwest Region along with senior guard Jamar Smith of Southern Indiana.
The NABC Division II All-America Team recognizes the best men’s collegiate basketball student-athletes and coaches in the division. Selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC, the included student-athletes represent the finest basketball players across America.
Previously, Keenan received both NABC All-District and Daktronics All-Midwest Region First Team honors. He was also chosen by the Grand Rapids Press as its West Michigan Small College Player of the Year for the 2009-10 campaign.
Keenan was also honored this year as the winner of the prestigious GLIAC Player of the Year Award for the 2009-10 season, becoming the first Bulldog men's basketball player in 20 years to attain the recognition. He was only the fifth player in school history to be tabbed as the league's top seasonal performer and the first since David Tuck in 1990.
A consensus preaseason All-America honoree and two-time first team All-GLIAC recipient, Keenan averaged a league-leading 21.1 points per game in 22 conference regular-season contests this season and held a 20.1 points per game average for all games this campaign. Additionally, his 465 points in league games finished only six shy of matching the league's single-season scoring record of 471 points set by Saginaw Valley State's Michael Williams in the 1993-94 season.
The 6-6 Keenan also broke two GLIAC single-season records with his 176 made free throws and 253 total attempts in league regular-season play this season while becoming the school's all-time leader in career made free throws (562) along with topping his own single-season record with 215 makes in all games at the charity stripe. He shattered the previous league records of 132 free throws made and 196 attempts that had been set by former Bulldog center Adam Anderson in the 2000-01 season.
Keenan guided the Bulldogs to a second consecutive conference tournament berth and a trip to the semifinals after leading the league with 14 scoring games of 20 points or more overall this year. He claimed GLIAC North Division Player of the Week accolades four-straight weeks during the season and reached double-figure scoring in 28 of 29 contests this campaign.
In addition to leading the league in scoring, Keenan also concluded the season ranked first in offensive rebounds (3.2 pg.) along with third in field goal percentage (55.1%) and fifth in total rebounding (6.9 rpg.). To date, Keenan has 1,569 career points and ranks eighth on the school's career scoring chart.
His 215 free throws (215-312) this year topped his own school single-season mark of 180 free throws recorded last season. He shot 154 free throws more than any other GLIAC player this season for all games and made 90 more than any other league player. This year marks the third-straight year he’s led the league in both makes and attempts.
Overall, Keenan has reached double-figure scoring in 79 of 84 career outings. He’s tallied 10 points or more in 56 of his last 58 contests, which included a personal career-high 35 points in a league home win over defending NCAA Division II National Champion Findlay in early February (Feb. 6) as the Bulldogs beat the Oilers for only the second time in the last 45 years.
Keenan led the Bulldog men's basketball team to a 16-13 overall
record this season and this season represented the eighth
consecutive year in which the Bulldogs had won 10 or more games
under current eighth-year head coach Bill Sall
after doing so only twice in the seven seasons prior to his
Located in Kansas City, MO, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Forrest “Phog” Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently claims nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.org.