March 9, 2011
Accolades continued to stream in for Rice sophomore forward Arsalan Kazemi on Wednesday as the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced its NABC Division I All-District teams for 2011. Selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC, the teams recognize the best men's collegiate basketball student-athletes in Division I.
The 245 student-athletes, from 24 districts, are eligible for the State Farm Coaches' Division I All-America teams, to be announced April 2nd at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston during the NABC Convention and NCAA® Final Four®.
Kazemi was named NABC Second-Team All-District 11 after a sophomore season in which he has averaged 15 points and 11.1 rebounds for the Owls.
NABC District 11 consists of entirely of Conference USA institutions.
Named to the NABC District 11 First-Team were Gary Flowers (Southern Miss), Randy Culpepper (UTEP), Justin Hurtt (Tulsa), Papa Dia (SMU) and Jamarr Sanders (UAB). Joining Kazemi on the second team were Aaron Johnson (UAB), DeAndre Kane (Marshall), Will Barton (Memphis), Kendall Timmons (Tulane) and Cameron Moore (UAB).
All 11 players are in El Paso this week as the 2011 Buick Conference USA Basketball Championship gets underway. Rice will take on SMU in the final first round game of the day on Wednesday. Tip-off for the Owls and Mustangs is slated for no earlier than 9 p.m. Central Time. The game will be broadcast by ESPN 97.5 and also be available through Rice All-Access at RiceOwls.com.
Earlier this week, Kazemi was named to the 2010-11 All-Conference USA Second Team.
Next month, Kazemi, the first Iranian-born student-athlete to play NCAA Division I basketball, will receive the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Most Courageous Award during the USBWA's Breakfast of Celebration. Held the morning of April 1st, the event will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center and leads up to the Final Four® in Houston.
The USBWA annually recognizes a player, coach, official or administrator who has demonstrated extraordinary courage reflecting honor on the sport of amateur basketball. Along with the award, the USBWA presents a $1,000 check to the charity or scholarship fund as selected by the recipient.
Also awarded that morning will be the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year. The USBWA will also recognize Texas head coach Rick Barnes with its Good Guy Award. Special guests at the event will be members of the University of Houston's Phi Slama Jama, NCAA Tournament teams of the mid-1980s.
For more information about the USBWA's Breakfast of Celebration or to order tickets, go to uhletterwinners.com.