Rambo named MVP of NAIA's first All-Star Game
Senior guard pours in 23 points in just 20 minutes
SAGU's "Dandy Lion" makes 9-of-13 shots, including 4 treys
Box Score / Play-by-Play (links below)
All-Team Rosters (below)
KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- Scoring 17 of his 23 points in the first half, Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s Dominique Rambo led the Division I All-Stars to a 120-107 victory over the Division II in the first-ever NAIA All-Star game.
SAGU’s all-time leading scorer made his first six shots and powered DI to a commanding 68-48 halftime lead.
As a result, Rambo was named the Most Valuable Player in the game.
The senior made 9-of-13 shots, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He grabbed six rebounds, second best on his team, and was credited with four assists.
Rambo, who played half of the game (20:18), also blocked a shot and registered a steal.
The team divided playing time with the starters receiving twenty minutes and eighteen seconds. The five reserves appeared in 19:42.
“It was an honor getting to watch and coach Rambo one more time as a collegiate player,” said SAGU Head Coach Donnie Bostwick. “I expected him to shine.”
“He has done nothing but do just that since the day I met him. He is such a class act,” commented Bostwick, who served an Assistant Coach for the Division I All-Stars.
“I had coaches, fans, and even opponents go out of their way to tell me how impressed they were with his attitude and demeanor on and off the floor.”
“They were completely amazed, as I have been, at his ability to play the game,” added Bostwick.
“Hearing him honor God in the interviews and seeing him point to heaven after big plays were the memories that I will never forget.”
The Lion King began the game by assisting on DI’s first two baskets, three-pointers by Xavier Robertson (Our Lady of the Lake University) and Brandon Davis (LSU-Shreveport).
Ever the catalyst, Rambo drained a three-ball, thanks to an assist from Davis, to push DI into the lead for good at 9-8.
The Division II team pulled to within 11-10 before SAGU’s dandelion (Dandy Lion) again ripped the nets from downtown at the 16:30 mark.
Rambo wasn’t finished. He detonated back-to-back jacks to extend the lead to 23-13 before exiting the game. Upon returning he laid in a pair of layups as his team maintained a double-digit lead.
Markus Monroe (Wayland Baptist University) had a good start in the second half as their upper hand swelled to 73-57.
A steal by Davis led to a breakaway layup by Rambo for an 83-67 margin with 13:36 to play.
The final two baskets of his collegiate career were vintage Rambo.
He sliced inside for a layup that gave DI their largest lead, 113-91, at 4:08.
After a free throw by sister school’s Dwayne Johnson (Southeastern University [Fla]) with 0:29 to play, the DI team sped upcourt.
Joel Barndt (Rocky Mountain College), a 6’9 forward, spotted Rambo in transition for a layup to close the scoring for DI at 120-105.
His glowing finale and recognition was sweet vindication after the closing seconds of the Lions 99-97 loss in the NAIA tournament to St. Catharine College (Ky). His short jumper in the lane in the closing seconds was denied by a defender, who knocked him to the floor.
No foul was cited, much to the objections of many.
The National Player of the Year as a junior was exonerated two days later inside the same Municipal Auditorium Arena.
Rambo shared scoring honors with Bruce Reed of the University of Pikeville (Ky) with 23 points. Four other players scored in double-figures for the victors.
The game was sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and US Bank. It was part of the 2014 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship played after Saturday’s four quarterfinal games.
Coaching the Division I Stars was Don Meyer, the Hall of Fame coach at David Lipscomb University (Tenn).
"The tournament is so well organized," said Meyer. "Everything is so precise and everything keeps moving. It's such a great event.”
“I am so impressed with the family atmosphere of this event. You never want to lose that... it's beautiful. The things you all do for the kids and community service, we never want to lose that because that is what the NAIA is (all about)."
Division II All-Star, Joe Mitchell of Friends University (Kan), led all scorers with 34 points. His team used a 10-2 second half run to draw to within ten points, but never got any closer.
All 20 participants in the game put points in the scoring column.
The Division I team shot 58.2 percent (46-of-79) from the field and held a 49-40 rebounding advantage.
"I was definitely honored to be able to do this, especially against coach Meyer," said NAIA Hall of Famer Al Waller, who coached the Division II All-Stars and is currently at College of the Ozarks (Mo).
"There was a lot of great talent and it was a fun experience. I think I could have won a few NAIA Division II national championships with this team,” explained Coach Waller.
“Being around Coach Meyer, we have been friends for a long time, and, to me, that was the highlight of the whole thing."
According to the press release article following the game, the NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Committee determined the selection criteria and oversaw the selection process.
The All-Stars were seniors in eligibility status and were open for submission by head coaches in 101 Division I schools and 133 Division II schools.
Selection criteria took into account season statistics, awards and a Champions of Character aspect. The Committee is comprised of coaches from both Division I and Division II ranks.
NAIA Division I All-Stars
|0||Dominique Rambo (SAGU, TX)||G||5'10||23.4|
|1||Markus Monrod (Wayland Baptist, TX)||G||6'2||21.4|
|2||Darrie Stephens (Brewton-Parker, GA)||F||6'7||20.0|
|3||Xavier Roberson (Our Lady of the Lake, TX)||G||6'1||25.1|
|4||Zack Kleine (Evangel, MO)||G||6'5||22.6|
|5||Marcel Towns (Great Falls, MT)||G||6'2||21.1|
|7||Latraius Mosley (Life Univ., GA)||G||6'6||23.4|
|10||Brandon Davis (LSU-Shreveport)||G||6'3||19.0|
|12||Bruce Reed (Univ of Pikeville, KY)||F||6'7||18.2|
|13||Joel Barndt (Rocky Mountain, MT)||F||6'9||17.5|
NAIA Division II All-Stars
|0||Derek Semenas (Cardinal Stritch, WI)||G||6'3||24.4|
|1||Joel Mitchell (Friends Univ, KS)||G||6'1||32.3|
|2||Dwayne Johnson (Southeastern, FL)||G||6'1||20.8|
|3||Devin Harris (Oklahoma Wesleyan)||G||6'0||20.6|
|4||Idris Ibn Idris (Bethany Col., KS)||G||6'5||27.3|
|5||Joshua Hart (Virginia Intermont)||F||6'6||26.9|
|6||Kyle Lindbergh (Dordt Col., IA)||F||6'7||17.2|
|8||Justyn Watkins (Thomas Univ, GA)||F||6'5||23.6|
|10||Adam Herman (Concordia Univ, OR)||F||6'6||24.5|
|12||Brad Karp (Saint Xavier, IL)||G||6'5||25.3|
All-Star Game Box Score and Play-by-Play: http://www.naia.org/ViewContent.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=27900&CONTENT_ID=897111