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Two WCC Men's Basketball Student-Athletes Earn DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Honors

April 20, 2015

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - Two West Coast Conference Basketball student-athletes earned spots on the 13th Annual Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Scholar-Athlete Men's Basketball Team. All-American Kevin Pangos of Gonzaga and two-time Academic All-American Thomas van der Mars of Portland captured a spot on the prestigious team.

The 20 winners of the DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Women's and Men's Teams were announced by the Association. In addition, the Association also selected both a men's and women's scholar-athlete of the year and postgraduate scholarship winners. Van der Mars earns recognition for the second straight season, while Pangos joins fellow Bulldog Sunny Greinacher from the Gonzaga women's basketball team in receiving the prestigious honor for the first time.

"Our Association congratulates this year's scholar-athlete award winners," stated Tim Hall, chair of the Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Team Selection Committee and athletics director at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "We pride ourselves in honoring deserving student-athletes who exemplify I-AAA athletics and this year is no different, as we recognize the scholar-athletes of the year and the postgraduate scholarship recipients for their outstanding accomplishments."

A physical education major and sport management minor, Pangos has earned a 3.21 grade-point average during his time at GU. He was named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic Team this season and is a member of the Gonzaga Dean's List and WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll.

Pangos, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a four-time All-WCC First Team selection, led the record-breaking Zags to a 35-3 record and Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. From the point guard spot, he ranked second in the NCAA an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.55 and averaged 11.6 points while leading the team with 81 three-pointers. Additionally, he led the team in assists (4.8 apg), steals (1.3 spg) and free throw percentage (.824). Earlier this year, Pangos broke the GU all-time threes record of 288 and ended his career with 322.

Van der Mars, also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America including first team honors this season, has a 4.00 cumulative graduate school grade-point average and will earn his MBA in May. That followed an undergraduate degree in operations and technology management with a 3.95 cumulative GPA. He is also a three-time West Coast Conference All-Academic First Team recipient.

On the court, van der Mars concluded his career as Portland's career leader in blocked shots (121) and games started (120). He also ranks fourth in career field goal percentage (.555), sixth in career rebounds (832), and No. 13 in scoring (1,252). A two-time WCC honorable mention selection, he ranked third in the conference in rebounds (8.0) and blocked shots (1.5) and sixth in field goal percentage (.531) this season. Van der Mars was Portland's third leading scorer at 10.4 points per game.

Basketball players from all Division I-AAA ADA member institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials. Nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games listed on the nomination form. To be eligible for nomination to the Scholar-Athlete Team, he/she must have reached JUNIOR academic standing at their institution (ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible). To be eligible for the postgraduate scholarship, he/she must have completed eight semesters or the equivalent number of quarters at their institution. Preference was given to those on track to graduate in spring/summer 2015.

About Division I-AAA ADA: Now in its 14th year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership (the 99 Division I institutions that do not sponsor football), in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. For more information on the Division I-AAA ADA, please visit www.div1aaa-ada.com. The Division I-AAA ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 50th year. For more information on NACDA and the 14 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.

From GoZags.com and PortlandPilots.com