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Big Rapids, Mich. - Senior standout Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) of the Ferris State University men's basketball squad has been honored as a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II All-Midwest District First Team selection.
The recognition marks the second time he's earned first team all-region type accolades this season as he was previously honored as the Daktronics Division II Midwest Region Player of the Year.
Additionally, it represents the second year in a row Keenan's claimed district honors from the NABC as last season he became the first Bulldog player in 36 years to claim All-America kudos when he was tabbed as FSU's first-ever All-America pick at the Division II level by being named to the 2009-10 State Farm Coaches' All-America First Team.
The NABC Division II All-District teams and coaches recognize the best men's collegiate basketball student-athletes and coaches in the division. Selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC, these student-athletes represent the finest basketball players across America. The 88 student-athletes, from eight districts, are now eligible for the State Farm® Coaches' Division II All-America teams, selected by the NABC.
The State Farm Coaches' All-America team will be released next week in conjunction with the Division II Elite Eight in Springfield (Mass.) along with the announcement of the NABC Division II Player of the Year.
Keenan was joined on the NABC's Midwest District First Team by Findlay guard Nathan Hyde, Indianapolis' Darius Adams, Mohamed Ntumba of Southern Indiana along with the Bellarmine (Ky.) combination of Braydon Hobbs and Jeremy Kendle. Keenan and Hyde were the only first-team picks from a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) institution as the other four all came from Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) schools.
Keenan paced the GLIAC in scoring for the third consecutive year by averaging a personal career-high 21.6 points per game overall this season. He has also had his best season on the glass with a league-best 10 rebounds a contest in regular-season action and was the only player in Division II basketball to rank among the nation's top 20 performers in both categories.
The Division II Bulletin Preseason National Player of the Year became the league's all-time career scoring leader in the Bulldogs' regular-season finale versus Grand Valley State (Feb. 26). The 6-7 Keenan also recently became the first Bulldog player ever to earn the GLIAC's Player of the Year honor twice and only the third player to claim the recognition twice in GLIAC history.
In addition to leading the league in scoring and rebounding, Keenan also totaled a league-best 16 double-double efforts and had a conference-best four games of 30 plus points or more this campaign. The 6-7 Keenan tallied a conference-high 18 games of 20 points or more and reached double-figure scoring in 30 contests. His play helped the Bulldogs to their first league championship in six years and the right to host the GLIAC Semifinals/Finals for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign.
A three-time All-GLIAC honoree and four-time GLIAC North Division Player of the Week honoree this season, Keenan's play led the Bulldogs to the 2011 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship Game and the Sweet Sixteen this past week (March 12-15) in Louisville, Ky. The Bulldogs won their first NCAA Tournament game in six years this season with back-to-back wins in the regional quarterfinal and semifinal rounds over Wayne State and Drury (Mo.), respectively.
Keenan concluded his Bulldog career by scoring 2,259 career points and ranks second all-time in Bulldog history. He's also the school's all-time leader with 797 made free throws while ranking third in rebounding (901) and seventh in field goal percentage (.548).
The 6-7 Keenan earned both Daktronics All-Region and All-GLIAC accolades for the third consecutive season and was a two-time first team all-region recipient. Overall, Keenan reached double-figure scoring 109 times in his 116-game collegiate career, including scoring 10 points or more in 87 of his final 91 games. He also had 28 double-double efforts as a collegiate player.
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.