UC Merced guard earns Cal Pac's top award

Chambers goes above and beyond

Sjansen@mercedsunstar.comFebruary 26, 2013 

Aki Chambers did a little of everything for the UC Merced men’s basketball team this year.

The 6-foot-3 senior was a factor on both ends of the floor to help the Golden Bobcats finish 7-3 in the California Pacific Conference.

It was no surprise that Chambers was named the Cal Pac Conference Player of the Year.

“It’s amazing what he did, leading the conference in scoring, rebounding and steals,” Merced coach John Sykes said. “The kid is a unique player.”

Chambers filled out the stat sheet, averaging 21.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and two steals per game.

“He’s the kind of kid you wish you could have him for four more years,” Sykes said. “He’s an incredible player that got better and better year after year.”

Cal State Maritime’s Jaquai Wiley was named the Defender of the Year. Keenan Prince (William Jessup) was selected as the Newcomer of the Year and Dalton Thacker (Simpson) was tabbed as the Freshman of the Year.

UC Merced guard Martin Harris was named to the all-Cal Pac second team.

UC Merced Women

The Golden Bobcats' Shelby Howard earned one of the top Cal Pac Conference awards when she was named the Freshman of the Year.

The 5-4 guard averaged 16 points per game for UC Merced, which finished 2-8 in the Cal Pac Conference.

Golden Bobcats teammate Leticia Oceguera was named to the all Cal Pac second team.

After going undefeated in conference play, Menlo dominated the individual awards with Jolise Limcaco earning Player of the Year, Laurel Donnenwirth named Defender of the Year and Shannon Osborne being selected as the Coach of the Year.

MC Women

Merced College freshman Sonji Green is racking up some individual honors after a stellar regular season.

Green was named to the all-Central Valley Conference first team and was named to the all-state second team after averaging 14.7 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils (18-10).

"She's had a great season for us," said Merced coach Allen Huddleston. "When we saw her in high school we could tell she was going to be successful at this level.

"She has come in and really put in the hard work. Now she's receiving some of these individual accolades because of it."

Green was joined on the all-CVC first team by Blue Devil teammates Kelsey Lemasney and Rogenee Russell. Verleah Jones received second-team honors.

Merced College received the No. 10 seed for the Northern California Regional playoffs and will open at No. 7 Diablo Valley College (18-10) on Friday at 7 p.m.

Merced College Men

The Blue Devils' Gurpreet Sangha was named to the all-CVC first team. Teammate James Waters received honorable mention.

Merced's James Waters and Daisuke Hatasako were named to the CVC all freshmen team with Hatasako also earning all CVC Defensive Team honors.

Merced Sun Star staff writer Shawn Jansen can be reached at (209) 385-2462 or sjansen@mercdsunstar.com.

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