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Utah State continues to stress the first part of student-athlete.

The Aggie men’s basketball team certainly proved that academics are important this past school year. USU had seven student-athletes named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court recently. No other Division I men’s basketball program had that many athletes honored.

The seven Aggies included graduated seniors Sam Merrill and Diogo Brito, junior Alphonso Anderson, sophomores Justin Bean and Brock Miller, and redshirts Marco Anthony and Carson Bischoff.

In order to be named to the NABC Honors Court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The criteria includes being classified as a junior or senior academically, earning a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year and being a member of the team for at least one year.

Utah State’s seven honorees were a part of 1,350 total student-athletes that were recognized across the nation among all divisions of college basketball.

A release stated: “The NABC Honors Court highlights the talents and gifts that these men possess on the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom.”

In addition to the individual honors, USU was also recognized with an NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, which honors those teams with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the 2019-20 season. In order to receive a NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, institutions in the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA must count the grade point averages of all men’s student-athletes who competed during the 2019-20 season.

The Aggies also got the job done on the court, going 26-8 on the season and tying for second during the regular season of the Mountain West Conference with a 12-6 mark. USU went to the Mountain West Tournament as the second seed and won the championship for the second straight time, earning the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately for the Aggies, the NCAA Tournament was canceled because of COVID-19.

Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at sharrison@hjnews.com or 435-792-7233.

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