Keenan Claims All-Star Game MVP Award Honors

Justin Keenan hangs on the rim during last week's "Champions of Character" All-Star Game (Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Press -
Justin Keenan hangs on the rim during last week's "Champions of Character" All-Star Game (Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Press -

Big Rapids, Mich. - Former Ferris State University men's basketball standout Justin Keenan (Grand Rapids/Ottawa Hills) claimed Most Valuable Player Award recognition in last week's fifth annual "Champions of Character" All-Star Game.

The contest, which took place Wednesday (June 22) evening at Cornerstone University's Hansen Athletic Center in Grand Rapids, featured the top senior players from West Michigan against the "pros", who were made up of former standout players from the area who have gone onto professional careers.

Keenan earned MVP honors for the men's college seniors after finishing with 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a 119-107 loss to the pros in the second game of the twinbill.  He was joined on the college squad by former FSU teammate Matt DeHart (Greenville).

The Bulldog women's basketball squad also had two former players take part in the women's contest as they were represented by Tiara Adams (Lansing/Waverly) and Andrea Clancy (Port Austin/North Huron).  The women's college all-stars fell to the pros by a 77-72 score.  All four FSU representatives concluded their Bulldog playing careers this past winter.

Keenan and DeHart were the only Division II players chosen to take part in the men's all-star game as the remaining seven members of the college team came from either Hope, Cornerstone, Davenport or Grace Bible.  On the women's side, Adams and Clancy were joined by former Grand Valley State standout Elizabeth VanTiflin from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

The all-star games annually feature the top senior college student-athletes from NCAA Divisions I, II, III along with NAIA schools competing against former West Michigan basketball legends and others who played professionally.  The goal was to raise more than $5,000 in support on the Champions of Character lecturing initiative, in which every player, coach, referee, parent and spectator will commit back to the true spirit (fun) of competition through respect, integrity, responsibility, leadership and sportsmanship. Major Sponsors in the past have included MVP Sports/Vanderweide Family Foundation, Meijer and Alticor.

The Division II Bulletin National Player of the Year, Keenan paced the GLIAC in scoring for the third year in a row and was the only player in Division II to rank among the nation's top 20 players in both scoring and rebounding this past campaign.  He also became the GLIAC's all-time career scoring leader and only the third player in league annals to win the coveted GLIAC Player of the Year honor twice.

The Ferris State men concluded the 2010-11 season by reaching the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen and the Midwest Regional Championship Game in Louisville, Ky.  The Bulldogs also captured the GLIAC North Division Championship and hosted the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals and Finals this past season.  They earned runner-up laurels in both the conference and NCAA regional tournaments.