Beyond the court: Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan awards include the non-playing type, too

Negaunee girls head coach Mike O'Donnell goes over a play with his team during a timeout in the fourth quarter of their high school basketball game played against Westwood on Jan. 24 at the Patriots gym. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

On the Net: For the current list of 2019-20 BCAM awards, go to www.bcam.org/2019-bcam-awards-published


MIDLAND — The Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan certainly recognizes players’ and coaches’ feats on the playing court with its postseason awards.

But the group also honors them for their work off the court, particularly, though not exclusively in the classroom.

Three awards given by the group point that out — the Team Academic All-State Award, the Team First Award and the Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete Award.

Negaunee's Alex Munson, center, attempts a layup against Gladstone's Michael Hagebusch, left, and Rane Castor in their Mid-Peninsula Conference boys basketball game played Jan. 23 at the Braves' gym. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Justin St. Ours)

Coaches must be members of the BCAM for their players or themselves to be eligible for awards. A quick glance at the Team First Award, where one nominated player is named per team, shows about 300 coaches turned in a name for this award of the around 750 schools playing basketball in the state.

Many veteran coaches are members of the group, shown locally as area winners come from both the boys teams and girls teams at Marquette, Negaunee, Ishpeming, Westwood, Gwinn and L’Anse. Munising was also listed for one girls award.

Here is a roundup of area and some Upper Peninsula recipients of these awards:


Team Academic All-State

Negaunee's Alex Munson, right, puts up a short jumper as Manistique's Mark Block defends in the first quarter of their Mid-Peninsula Conference boys basketball game played at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium in Negaunee on Jan. 6. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

This is the most competitive of these three awards with a “weighted” grade-point average determining the top programs.

GPAs are weighted based on players’ cumulative averages and their attempted credits, with GPAs above 4.0 (on a 4.0 scale) figured at 4.0.

The top 10 teams made the all-state list in each division with all other teams with GPAs of at least 3.0 earning honorable mention.

Apparently, girls — at least when it comes to basketball players — are a bit more studious when it comes to GPAs, as all 40 teams in their respective statewide top 10s had at least a 3.80 GPA, while only two boys teams had a number that high.

The only area team to make an all-state list was the Negaunee girls coached by Mike O’Donnell, who came in third with a 3.904 GPA.

Two other U.P. girls teams also cracked a top 10 — St. Ignace of coach Dorene Ingalls was the No. 1 team in Division 4 at 3.941, while Mid Peninsula of coach Phil Croasdell was No. 3 in D-4 at 3.935.

The only U.P. boys team cracking a top 10 was Lake Linden-Hubbell of coach Jack Kumpula, fourth in Division 4 at 3.641.

Numerous other U.P. schools made honorable mention, including multiple ones from the area.

Two area squads just missed making their top 10.

The Negaunee boys were 12th in Division 3 at 3.57 as the 10th-place cutoff was 3.59.

And the Marquette girls were 13th in Division 1 at 3.87 as 10th was at 3.891.

The MSHS boys were 16th in D-1 at 3.49 as 10th there was 3.58. In Division 3, the Ishpeming boys were at 3.36 and L’Anse boys at 3.14.

Among girls teams, Westwood was at 3.51, Ishpeming at 3.491 and Gwinn at 3.405 in Division 3; and L’Anse at 3.71 and Munising at 3.62 in Division 4.

Fifteen other U.P. programs also made honorable mention, with the closest to the top 10 being the Gladstone girls in 11th in Division 2 at 3.859 as 10th was 3.865.


Outstanding Senior

The Outstanding Senior Student-Athlete Award is another academic-based award, given to a senior who has played all four years of high school basketball with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.80.

Sixteen area players were honored, led by Negaunee’s senior-laden boys team with five as the Miners also had the most for any area school with six.

The Negaunee boys honored were Drew DuShane, Chas Kumpula, Alex Munson, Erik Salminen and Jason Waterman, with the Miners girl earning this mention was Chloe Norman.

Marquette, Westwood and Ishpeming had three honorees each, with L’Anse having one.

From Marquette was the girls’ Reegan Ketzenberger and Aspen Michelin and for the boys was Drew Wyble.

For Westwood, the boys awarded were Marson Mariuzza and Matt Paavo while for the girls it was Madelyn Koski.

Ishpeming had girls honorees Kayla Koski and Emma Poirier and the boys’ John Corkin.

L’Anse’s representative on this list was girls player Addison Mattson.

The other U.P. teams with multiple honors in this category were the Iron Mountain boys with four; the St. Ignace girls, DeTour girls and Engadine girls with three each; and IM girls, Gladstone girls and Ewen-Trout Creek girls with two apiece.


Team First Award

Member coaches were allowed to pick one player to be honored with a Team First Award, with criteria listed as the person who most exemplifies putting team before self and for teamwork, commitment, service and sacrifice.

For area boys teams, honorees were Isaac Johnson of Marquette, Erik Salminen of Negaunee, Gavin Argall of Ishpeming, Zach Carlson of Westwood, Caleb Anderson of Gwinn and DySean Allen of L’Anse.

Among girls, those honored were Averie Kelly of Marquette, Morgan Carlson of Negaunee, Kayla Koski of Ishpeming, Meghan Johnson of Westwood, Mackenzie Malette of Gwinn and Taylor Sanregret of L’Anse.

There are other awards the BCAM made that will be detailed in future stories.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@ miningjournal.net.


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