Lions reap rewards of winning SAC championship
Rambo named Player of the Year, Gentry is top defender
Walter, Feemster also honored; Bostwick is Coach of the Year
Coach comments on each of the selections
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- A fruitful first season in the Sooner Athletic Conference has resulted in numerous honors for members of the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball team.
The Lions completed the regular season on Saturday with a 74-68 triumph at John Brown University. The win gave No. 5 ranked SAGU a 26-4 record as well as a 17-3 mark against the SAC. Five games separated them from a pack of four teams tied for second at 12-8.
Awards as well as the announcement of the All-Conference team have been announced, and, quoting the press release, SAGU “dominated” the All-SAC tributes. They included:
Player of the Year – Dominique Rambo
Coach of the Year – Donnie Bostwick
Defensive Player of the Year – Caleb Gentry
Sportsmanship Award – Caleb Feemster
Rambo was named to the All-Conference First Team, with Gentry earning Second Team selection, and Jonathan Walter picked on the Third Team. Rambo and Gentry are seniors, Walter is a junior – and all three are justified recipients.
Coach Bostwick was quick to describe all of the honors as team-related awards. “None of them are possible without the support, encouragement and accountability of each member of our basketball family,” he said.
“The individual honors are well deserved,” Bostwick continued. “All four of these upperclassmen have put in a lot of work and sacrifice to get us to where our program is today.”
Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Trinity Christian - Cedar Hill, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) and Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Hondo HS, Ok Wesleyan Univ ) transferred after Coach Bostwick took the reins of the SAGU men’s team.
Both were recruited by him at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
“As seniors ‘Bo and Hondo receiving the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year is special to me,” he added, “because they have been with me their entire careers. I am so thankful for them and proud of the young men they have become on and off the floor.”
Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS ) has played at guard and forward throughout the season, recently moving to Feemster’s position while he recovered from an injury.
“Jon stepped up this year and has slid to the four spot (forward) without one complaint,” the coach pointed out. “I believe he is being rewarded for his willingness to do whatever the team needs him to do to win.”
“He would be the first to tell you that it could have easily been Feemster, Emmanuel Adoyi (Little Rock, Ark / LR Parkview HS ), and even Tyler Guidry (Houston, Tx / Westbury Christian ) being honored in this all-conference list. Emmanuel is one of the best defensive players in the SAC as well.”
The story on Feemster (Addison, Tx / Trinity Christian - Addison, Ranger College ) is an inspirational one. After a freshman season in which he was a valued reserve, he spent a year at Ranger College (Brownwood, Tx) before returning to SAGU.
Bostwick stated that he is “well deserving of the character award. He returned so thankful for what SAGU and our program stand for. Leaving for a year really has made him appreciate SAGU and this opportunity to represent Christ daily.”
For stretches of play this season he led the team in both scoring and rebounding before adjusting his role as well as being slowed by injury.
“He has become one of our spiritual leaders and is what coaches call a ‘glue guy,’” Bostwick explained. “He serves every opportunity he can both on campus and in the community. I love his heart.”
The four upperclassmen have shared top scorer roles as each can be “go-to” players.
Currently Rambo’s 23.8 points per game average is the highest in the conference. His numbers in steals, assists, three-pointer per game all rank near the top as well. His will to win is like a compass; it’s tried and true.
He had the most success in scoring against the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, averaging 29.5 ppg. Texas Wesleyan University held him to 16 ppg.
Southwestern Christian University is one of six teams to hold him under twenty, and the Eagles put the clamps on him in a 10-point outing. (see how he did against SAC opponents, below)
CALEB "HONDO" GENTRY
Gentry contributes 13 ppg and rates in both steals, assists and free throw percentage. His heart and hustle are reflected in the untold number of times he has wood-surfed on his chest.
Walter is second in scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) and can fill up a stat line as needed. His heady play under pressure is as dependable as his team best shooting percentage (.475).
Feemster scores just under twelve points per game and leads the team with 64 triples. His accuracy at the foul line and beyond the arc are tops in purple. He also averages 6.1 caroms per outing.
EMMANUEL ADOYI / TYLER GUIDRY
As for two other members of the team who essential to the team’s frontline, Adoyi (like ah-TOY), a sophomore, accounts for 7.0 ppg and 7.3 rpg and strokes free throws at 74% rate.
Guidry, junior, is netting points at just under seven a game, though he’s averages 12.0 over the past six contests. His assist-to-turnover ratio ranks in the SAC’s Top 10.
Speaking of assists and turnovers, all six players have made more assists than miscues. SAGU commits just 13.1 turnovers per game, fourth best in the league.
All of the Lions individual player statistics can be accessed here: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/IndividualStats.aspx?association=10&sg=MBB&conference=NAIMBB1_SAC&division=NAIMBB1&team=440
As for the Coach of the Year (COY) honor, Bostwick is quick to share the glory with his staff of Garrett Jones, Kyle Tucker and Chaplain, Rev. David Leatherberry.
“The COY honor is a Coaching Staff award,” he said. “I am so blessed to have an incredible staff.”
“Jonesy has been my right hand man for three years now. But we have went to battle together now for seven years as he played for me as well,” he added. “There are few I trust more than Garrett. He is going to be a terrific head coach soon.”
“Kyle joined our staff last year and has been an incredible blessing. He has given our program a huge boost, especially working and developing our big men.”
Bostwick went on to say that both assistants are servant-leaders and have great coaching careers in their future.
As for Leatherberry, the high regard he has on the team can be summed up in the team photo when the Lions clinched the regular season championship. At the top and center, the cylinder is above the chaplain’s head, doubling as a halo.
“The last and possibly most important piece of the puzzle is David Leatherberry. His value as team chaplain is off the charts,” says Bostwick, whose current record at SAGU is 86-20 (.811).
“We have an unfair advantage going into every game with David on our bus, at our practices and in our locker room. The encouragement and prayer he provides on a daily basis is impossible to place a value on. I praise God for Him!”
Lions play Thursday in conference tournament
The Lions return to the court on Thursday evening in the quarter-finals of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament. They will meet the winner of Wednesday night’s Texas Wesleyan University versus Oklahoma Baptist University game. It is set for 6:00pm.
OBU is the tourney host. All games will take place inside the Noble Complex. The Mabee Arena has a seating capacity of 2,400.
Ticket information and media coverage (video, Live Stats) will be posted on-line later Tuesday night.
RAMBO AGAINST S.A.C. OPPONENTS
|University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma||59 points (40 and 19)|
|Oklahoma Baptist University||58 points (40 and 18)|
|Mid-America Christian University||56 points (32 and 24)|
|Northwood University||56 points (25 and 31)|
|John Brown University||54 points (23 and 31)|
|St. Gregory's University||50 points (22 and 28)|
|Wayland Baptist University||47 points (22 and 25)|
|Oklahoma City University||37 points (18 and 19)|
|Southwestern Christian University||34 points (24 and 10)|
|Texas Wesleyan University||32 points (14 and 18)|