Briefs: UCI’s Ndiaye nominated for Good Works Team

UC Irvine sophomore men’s basketball player Mamadou Ndiaye has been nominated for the 2015 National Assn. of Basketball Coaches Good Works Team.

The Good Works Team recognizes a select group of student-athletes who stand out for their charitable achievements and community involvement. The players nominated for this prestigious honor are committed to enriching the lives of others while contributing to the greater good of their communities.

Ndiaye, a 7-foot-6 center from Senegal, was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor shortly after arriving in the United States to attend high school in Huntington Beach. He was nominated for his dedication to his community, including his continued participation in the annual Orange County Brain Tumor Walk. Additionally, he was recognized in October 2014 as a Courage Honoree at the Miracles for Kids Gala.

Ndiaye, who has missed the last two games with a sprained foot, is averaging a team-best 12 points per game this season. In five games, he is averaging 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest and is shooting 69.4% from the field (25 for 36). He is 10 for 13 from the foul line (.769) a vast improvement over his freshmen season, when the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, who set a conference record for single-season blocks with 106, shot 42.6% from the free-throw line (49 for 115).

From this year’s nominees, a final roster of 10 award recipients — five players from Division I and five players from Divisions II, III and the NAIA — will be announced in February.

Ndiaye is also on the watch list for the Lou Henson Award, given annually to the top player from a Division I mid-major program.

— From staff reports

Five Lions lauded

Vanguard University was represented by five players on the NAIA Scholar-Athlete team for women’s volleyball.

Seniors Kelly Heenan and Ashli Bellinger were joined by juniors Rachael Barker, Charlotte Heerlyn and Stephanie Flores.

The five honorees represented one-third of those chosen from the Golden State Athletic Conference.

— From staff reports