Nationals-bound teammates noted by Iowa Conference
Following their conference championship, there are six more reasons for the Kirkwood Community College men’s basketball program to celebrate. The Iowa Community College Athletic Conference has named a half dozen Eagles to its 2008 All-Region Team.
Sophomore Ali Forokhmanesh was named to the All-Region First Team and also took Most Valuable Player honors. In his year at Kirkwood, the 6-0 point guard from Iowa City averaged 16.2 points per game and was second in overall point leaders with 503. He also shot 48.6 percent from 3-point range and was 85.2 percent from the free-throw line. Forokhmanesh was also third in the conference for assists, totaling 133 for the season. He will transfer to the University of Northern Iowa in the 2008-09 school year.
DaRell Crittendon won Second Team All-Region honors. The 6-5 sophomore guard/forward averaged 12.2 points per game and also shot 85 percent from the free-throw line. He was formidable from 3-point range as well, hitting 44 percent. Crittendon also pulled down 5.6 rebounds per game for the Eagles.
Also winning All-Region Second Team honors was Ackley, Iowa native Corey Viet. The 6-5 forward had 47 assists for the season and hit his free throws 79 percent of the time.
Three other Kirkwood players were named to the Region XI Honorable Mention Team:
• Matt Banzhaf, also from Ackley, Iowa, is a 6-4 sophomore guard. Kirkwood coaches call him the “team defensive stopper,” notching a 4 rebounds per game average. Banzhaf also scored 4.5 points per game during the season.
• Also earning Honorable Mention was Cedar Rapids Jefferson grad Bryant Kucera, who played a key defensive role in the Eagles victories. He made 6.6 rebounds per game, a total of 204 for the season that included 71 offensively. Kucera also notched and 82 percent free throw average.
• Jermain Davis also won All-Region honorable Mention. The 6-4 guard from Plymouth, MN made 9.5 points per game on average, with 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Davis will transfer to the University of Iowa to play for the Hawkeyes next season.
“I think the All Region selections speak to the fact that we are a very well balanced team,” Head Coach Doug Wagemester commented. “Obviously, Ali is the catalyst behind some of what we do. But the balance and depth is what allowed us to win 29 regular season games.”
The Kirkwood Eagles were 29-3 overall on the season and 12-2 in regular conference play. For the majority of the season they were ranked in the NJCAA national poll top five. Their March 5 win over Ellsworth earned them a berth in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament later this month in Danville, Ill.