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Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University senior forward/center Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) has been pegged as one of the nation's top five players at the Division II level by being to the 2011 Daktronics All-America First Team. The announcement was made today (March 22).
Keenan, who will participate in the 2011 Reese's Division II All-Star Game this Friday (March 25) in Springfield, Mass., is one of five players honored as a first team All-American in voting conducted by the nation's sports information directors. He is joined on the first team by Alaska Fairbanks forward Parrish West, forward Chris Woods of Pfeiffer (N.C.), West Liberty State (W.Va.) guard Corey Pelle along with guard Gage Daye of Bloomfield (N.J.).
The Daktronics team consisted of five players each on three different teams. Keenan was the only player from a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) school recognized on the list and one of only three from a school within the Midwest Region along with a pair of guards in second-team pick Darius Adams of Indianapolis and Bellarmine's (Ky.) Jeremy Kendle, who claimed third team honors.
This year marks the second consecutive year in which Keenan has earned All-America accolades, but the first time he's been recognized by Daktronics on the national level. Last season, he became the first Bulldog player in 36 years to claim All-America accolades and FSU's first-ever All-America pick at the Division II level by being named to the 2009-10 State Farm Coaches' All-America Team. He was also chosen to the Division II Bulletin All-America Second Team a year ago.
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).
Keenan recently earned first team all-region honors for the second consecutive year from both the NABC and Daktronics. He was also chosen by Daktronics as its Division II Midwest Region Player of the Year.
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.
The All-America team is sponsored by Daktronics, Inc., an acknowledged world leader in scorer, timing and programmable display systems for virtually every sport at every level of competition. The team is voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) from across the country.
The online nomination and voting procedures are powered by ATHLETICSITE.COM. Headquartered in Charleston, SC, ATHLETICSITE.COM is the official provider for college athletic websites for over 38 sports organizations, including 34 colleges, universities and conferences primarily at the Division II level.
The 2011 Daktronics All-America First Team
Player School Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
Parrish West Alaska Fairbanks F 6-5 190 Sr. Chicago, IL
Chris Woods Pfeiffer F 6-5 215 Sr. Greensboro, NC
Gage Daye@ Bloomfield G 6-2 170 Sr. Newark, NJ
Corey Pelle West Liberty G 5-11 165 Sr. Silver Grove, KY
Justin Keenan Ferris State F/C 6-7 265 Sr. Grand Rapids, MI