March 21, 2011

Keenan To Play In Reese's D2 All-Star Game

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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University men's basketball senior standout Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) will have the opportunity to play one final collegiate contest as he has been chosen to participate in the 2011 Reese's Division II College All-Star Game as selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Keenan is among 20 of the top players in Division II basketball chosen for the all-star contest, which will take place this Friday (March 25) evening at 7 p.m. (ET) in Springfield, Mass. The game will be played in conjunction with the Division II Elite Eight this week and take place inside the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at center court.

"This is a great honor for Justin and he's well-deserving," said FSU head coach Bill Sall.  "With success comes rewards and he is certainly reaping the rewards of what we achieved this year. 

"We're looking forward to having him go out there and play against the best.  He's been a tremendous player and ambassador for our program and we're excited he'll have the opportunity to play in this all-star game," he added.

One of two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) players chosen to participate in the game along with Findlay guard Nathan Hyde, Keenan will play for the West All-Stars in the contest and be coached by Mike Leaf of Winona State (Minn.).

The all-star participants will have their travel expenses covered by the NCAA and are scheduled to practice on both Thursday and Friday leading up to the contest.  They will also be introduced during halftime activities in conjunction with Thursday's national semifinals.  Additionally, they will also have the opportunity to tour the basketball hall of fame in Springfield and help work a youth hoops clinic.

Keenan recently earned first team all-region honors for the second consecutive year from both the NBAC and Daktronics.  He was also chosen by Daktronics as its Division II Midwest Region Player of the Year.  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.

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 last 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.

Note: Any fans wishing to purchase tickets for the all-star game should contact Paul Lambert at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame  - call (413) 781-6500

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