July 23, 2014
KANSAS CITY - Rice University men's basketball received its second-straight NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced on Wednesday. The Owls earned the honor by posting a cumulative team grade point average higher than 3.0 in 2013-14.
The team achievement follows the NABC's announcement of the 2014 Honors Court for upperclassmen with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. All four of Rice's eligible upperclassmen were honored by the association, including graduates Bahrom Firozgary and Austin Ramljak as well as seniors Dan Peera and Seth Gearhart.
Rice was one of 21 NCAA Division I programs to earn the inaugural award last season and is one of 11 repeat winners, joining Belmont, Bucknell, The Citadel, Eastern Washington, Kentucky, Louisiana-Monroe, Mercer, Stanford, Texas and Youngstown State as the only two-time winners of the award.
A total of 126 NCAA Division I, II and III and NAIA Division I and II programs were honored. Among the 30 D-I honorees this season, Rice was the only Conference USA representative while Abilene Christian and Texas were the only other winners from the Lone Star State.
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.