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Three WCC Men's Basketball Players Capture Capital One Academic All-America Honors

Feb. 20, 2014

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. – West Coast Conference men’s basketball student-athletes captured three sports on the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Division I Team as announced today by CoSIDA. Malte Kramer (Pepperdine), Beau Levesque (Saint Mary’s) and Thomas van der Mars (Portland) each earned a spot on the third team.

With three of a total 15 2013-14 All-America selections, the WCC led the nation for the second straight year. The Big 10 (two first) and the Summit League (first/second) each had two.

This is the second straight year three WCC student-athletes have earned Academic All-America honors. Last season Saint Mary’s Matthew Dellavedova (second), Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk (first) and Santa Clara’s Marc Trasolini (third) earned selection for their outstanding performances in the classroom.

Kramer, Levesque and van der Mars were previously named to the six-member All-District 8 first team, allowing him to move on to the Academic All-America ballot. Junior guard Johnny Dee of San Diego also earned a spot on the All-District 8 first team but did not earn a spot on the All-America squad.

Malte Kramer (Frieberg, Germany/Cuesta CC), who holds a 4.0 grade-point average in economics, has been an important reserve and occasional starter for the Waves in 2013-14. He’s appeared in 24 games, starting eight, and is averaging 4.1 points and 1.5 rebounds. He’s made 41% of his three-pointers (22-for-54) on the season. Kramer scored a career-high 14 points against Indiana State at the Great Alaska Shootout in November.

In 2012-13, his first season with the Waves, Kramer earned NABC Honors Court and WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll “gold” honors. Before transferring to Pepperdine, Kramer was the state of California’s junior college scholar-athlete of the year in 2011-12 while at Cuesta College. He also held a 4.0 GPA at Cuesta and was an all-state first team selection in basketball.

Kramer is the first Pepperdine men’s basketball player to ever receive Academic All-America honors.

Saint Mary's graduate student Beau Levesque completed his undergraduate degree in May with a 3.80 grade point average, is currently pursuing a masters degree in leadership at SMC and is a two-time West Coast Conference Academic Team honoree. Levesque owns a graduate school GPA of 3.80.

Levesque has started all 21 games for the Gaels this season, averaging 10.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in both overall and conference games. Levesquehas led the squad in scoring three times and has been the top rebounder in eight contests.

A native of Gouda, The Netherlands, van der Mars is one of only three players among the 15 Academic All-Americans in men’s basketball that is not a senior or graduate school student. Van der Mars has had a breakout junior season for the Pilots averaging career-highs of 12.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He leads the West Coast Conference in field goal percentage (.605) and is third in the league with seven double-doubles this season.

The 6-11 center has had a few remarkable games this season beginning with a 19-point, 18-rebound effort against Portland State on Dec. 7 that earned him WCC Player of the Week honors. He became the first Pilot to win the weekly honor since Jan. 31, 2011.

Van der Mars scored 27 points with 18 rebounds in the triple overtime win against BYU on Jan. 23, including 21 his points after halftime. He then scored a career-high 28 points with 11 rebounds at Santa Clara on Feb. 1. He was 9-for-10 from the field and 10-for-10 from the free throw line in the win.

A three-year starter for the Pilots, van der Mars already ranks fourth in school history in field goal percentage (.563), seventh in blocked shots (68), 20th in total rebounds (514), and is on pace to finish Top 10 in career scoring. He joins Rick Raivio who also earned third team Academic All-America® honors in 1980 and becomes Portland’s 30th student-athlete to earn Academic All-America® honors across all sports.

From: PepperdineSports.com, PortlandPilots.com and SMCGaels.com