Central Washington’s Mark McLaughlin and Joey Roppo have been named to a national men’s basketball Honors Court for their academic achievements.
The Honors Court consists of players selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) who excelled in the classroom during the 2013-2014 season.
McLaughlin, a senior from Bothell, recorded a perfect 4.0 grade point average last fall and this past June completed a sociology degree with a cumulative 3.3 GPA.
“I wanted to show people I was more than just an athlete and that I could get it done in the classroom as well as on the court,” McLaughlin said in a university news release. “When you’re a student-athlete, student comes before athlete. That’s what coach Spar (Greg Sparling) and all the coaches stressed — to work hard in both areas.”
Last season McLaughlin led all NCAA Division II scorers with a 27.1 scoring average, which also was the highest in Wildcats history. He was also named a Daktronics All-American.
Roppo, a redshirt sophomore from Monroe, also compiled a 3.3 GPA and said, “I’m ecstatic that I won this award. It makes me happy that all of my work is paying off. I’ve always taken my academics pretty seriously. It’s something my parents ingrained in me.”
He played in 26 games last season, starting 24, and averaged 3.8 points.
To qualify for the Honors Court, players must be a junior or senior academically, must be a varsity player, have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher at the end of the 2013-14 academic year, have spent at least one year at their current institution, and be a member of an NCAA Division I, II, III or NAIA Division I or II institution with an NABC member coach.
Said Sparling, “It’s a great honor and we couldn’t be more proud of them. Mark graduated in the spring and Joey’s on track to graduate, which is the most important thing after his playing career.”