Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 7, 2013

4 Blazers named All-GSC

VALDOSTA — Four Valdosta State basketball players were named to the All-Gulf South Conference teams on Wednesday.  

Women’s basketball’s Brittney Nelson was the lone Lady Blazer selected to the second team. She was joined by men’s basketball’s Josh Sparks, James Anacreon and Patrick Diop, all second team honorees.

Valdosta State’s four honorees were the most of any team in the Gulf South Conference. North Alabama, Delta State and Alabama-Huntsville each placed three players on the All-GSC teams, West Florida placed two and West Alabama, West Georgia and Christian Brothers each placed one.

Two of Alabama-Huntsville’s representatives were named the GSC Players of the Year. Jasmine Hammon was named the women’s and Jaime Smith was named the men’s Player of the Year.

North Alabama head coach Terry Fowler was named the women’s Coach of the Year, while Christian Brothers Michael Nienaber was named the men’s, beating out Valdosta State’s Mike Helfer.

Nelson leads the conference in three-point percentage and leads the Lady Blazers with 14.1 points per game and 9.2 rebounds. The only senior on the Valdosta State women’s roster, Nelson has made 40 percent of her three-pointers (58 of 145), and has the Lady Blazers ranked seventh in the latest South Region Standings with a 16-10 record.

Sparks was the only returning player on the men’s roster this season for Helfer. A three-year member with the Blazers, Sparks is second in the NCAA in blocks per game at 3.65 per game. Sparks is averaging 12.7 points and a team-high 8.8 rebounds per game for the 17-9 Blazers.

Diop, who like Sparks has been named the GSC Player of the Week this season, is averaging 13.8 points per game and a team-high 4.1 assists.

Anacreon, a senior transfer from Wichita State, is averaging a team-best 14.8 points per game.

All three players have attempted over 100 free throws this season for the Blazers.

All four student-athletes will represent Valdosta State in the conference tournament on Friday. The Lady Blazers face Alabama-Huntsville at 1 p.m. Eastern.

The Blazers will face Delta State at 6 p.m. Eastern.

The tournament will be held in Birmingham, Ala.

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