July 21, 2014
KANSAS CITY – Four Rice University men’s basketball student-athletes were named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court for their excellence in the classroom, the NABC announced Monday from its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. 2014 graduates Bahrom Firozgary and Austin Ramljak were repeat selections on the team and rising senior Owls Seth Gearhart and Dan Peera joined the pair.
In order to be named to the NABC Honors Court, student-athletes had to meet a set of standards that includes being either a junior or senior, a cumulative 3.20 or higher grade point average at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year, and have matriculated at least one year at their current institution (which must be a Division I, II, III or NAIA member).
In two seasons with the Owls, Firozgary scored 55 points in 45 games with 15 starts while majoring in biochemistry and cell biology. The two-time Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member was the team’s 2013 and ‘14 Rice Scholar Athlete and begins medical school this fall.
Gearhart has been named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in all three seasons with the Owls and was honored as a member of the 2013 C-USA All-Academic Team. The Wilsonville, Ore. native has started 48 of his 76 games played entering his senior campaign. He ranked second on the team in rebounding, steals and blocks in 2013-14. He is majoring in Economics.
Peera is also a three-time C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member heading into his senior season. The Mechanical Engineering major has seen action in 62 games at Rice, including all 31 in his sophomore year in 2012-13. The guard owns a career 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio and has scored 21 points with 29 rebounds for the Owls.
Rounding out the group, Ramljak was named the C-USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men’s basketball in 2013. In two years at Rice, he twice earned C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll accolades and was named to the NABC Honors Court last season as well. The Psychology major set the program’s single-season three-point field goal record in 2013-14 with 89 treys and closed out his career with a three-pointer in 35-straight games and led the team in scoring average with 11.6 points per game.
Conference USA’s 15 other 2013-14 programs combined for five honorees, led by two from Old Dominion. East Carolina, Florida Atlantic and UTSA produced one Honors Court member each.
Located in Kansas City, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Phog Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve and enhance the sport. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men's basketball coaches. A full listing of the NABC's 2014 Honors Court is available on-line at the above link.