Rory Blanche named first-team CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American
Feb. 22, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University men's basketball player Rory Blanche has been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America NCAA Division II first team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
A 6-foot-6 senior forward from Ashland, Ore., Blanche is a Manufacturing Engineering Technology major with a 3.74 (4.0 scale) grade point average. He is the first men's basketball player to earn the accolade in the 11-year history of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
"This is an outstanding honor," said Dr. T.H."Butch" Kamena, who is the compliance officer and academic advisor for the WWU Athletics Department. "There are many organizations that select academic all-star teams at a national level, but the CoSIDA award is the most prestigious of those honors."
Blanche leads the Vikings in both scoring and rebounding with respective per game averages of 16.9 and 7.3. He ranks 16th nationally and is second in the GNAC in field-goal shooting at 60.4 percent (197-of-326). Blanche also is fifth among league leaders in scoring, sixth in offensive rebounds (2.8) and eighth in rebounds.
Blanche ranks 15th among WWU career scoring leaders with 1,159 points (needs 30 to move into 16th) as well as grabbing 493 rebounds and hitting 60.7 percent (495-of-816) from the field. He has had six double-doubles in points and rebounds this season and has scored double-figure points in 43 of his last 45 games.
Last week, Blanche scored a career-high 30 points in the Vikings' 77-67 win at Northwest Nazarene.
Blanche was president of WWU's Student Athletic Advisory Committee as both a sophomore and junior.
"Rory has been an exemplary student-athlete." said WWU men's basketball coach Brad Jackson. "He has been a leader on the court, in the classroom and in community involvement."
Blanche got on the Academic All-America ballot by being named to the District 8 first team. He also is a three-time GNAC academic all-star.
Joining Blanche on the Academic All-America first team were Ryan Dougherty (3.62) from Southwest Baptist, Desmond King (3.73) from Texas A&M-Commerce, Kramer Soderberg (3.69) from Lindenwood and Nick Trull (3.90) from Anderson SC.
Seattle Pacific's David Downs (3.80) was named to the second team.
Blanche is just the third WWU athlete to earn first-team CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America honors. The others were football player Erik Totten in 2000 and rower Audrey Coon in 2009.
Last summer Blanche was an intern at Nike, working at the company's headquarters in Beaverton. Following graduation this spring, he has been offered him a full-time position by Nike as a design engineer.
WWU CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
1984 Men's At-Large Tom Castagna 3 Soccer 1985 Men's At-Large Jeff Neubauer 3 Track & Field 2000 Football Erik Totten 1 DB 2001 Football Erik Totten 2 DB 2003 Volleyball Liz Bishop 2 Setter Volleyball Nicola Parker 2 Libero 2004 Women's At-Large Laurel Kaminski 2 Rowing 2008 Women's At-Large Gina Auriemma 3 Rowing Women's At-Large Audrey Coon 2 Rowing 2009 Women's At-Large Audrey Coon 1 Rowing 2011 Men's At-Large Xavier Dailly 2 Golf 2012 Men's Basketball Rory Blanche 1 F
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