Wiggs Leads Men's Hoop Preseason All-GNAC Selections
In addition to GNAC Preseason Player of the Year honors, Wiggs was also named a Division II Preseason All-American by The Sporting News.
In addition to GNAC Preseason Player of the Year honors, Wiggs was also named a Division II Preseason All-American by The Sporting News.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Sekou “Suki” Wiggs made quite the impact for Alaska Anchorage in his first season with the Seawolves. Now the senior has been picked by conference coaches as the 2016-17 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year.

Wiggs, the GNAC Newcomer of the Year in 2015-16, was a First Team All-GNAC selection and a Third Team D2CCA All-American after transferring to UAA from Division I Idaho. He led the conference and finished 11th in Division II with an average of 24.1 points per game and also ranked third in the GNAC in both rebounding (7.3 rebounds per game) and steals (1.6 per game). The guard finished the season with 21 straight games with 20 or more points and finished the season with nine straight 20-plus point games.

In addition to his GNAC accolades, Wiggs was named a Division II Preseason All-American by The Sporting News and was a honorable mention for Division II Bulletin’s Super 16 list.

Wiggs is one of five unanimous selections to the 2016-17 GNAC Men’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team. Joining Wiggs as unanimous selections is Western Washington forward Jeffrey Parker, Western Oregon forward Tanner Omlid, Alaska forward Bangaly Kaba and Montana State Billings’ forward Preston Beverly.

Parker led Western Washington in scoring last year with an average of 17.9 points per game and is the conference’s second leading returning scorer behind Wiggs. He was also the the program’s top free throw shooter, making 78.5 percent of his shots (84-107). The First Team All-GNAC selection scored double digits in 24 games and posted three scoring performances of 30 points or more, topped by a double-double of 39 points and 11 rebounds in an overtime win at Alaska on Jan. 7.

Omlid is the lone returning starter from Western Oregon’s Division II national semifinal team from last year. A Second Team All-GNAC selection, Omlid averaged 10.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. He finished second in the GNAC with 2.2 steals per game and third with a .562 field goal percentage (145-258). The transfer from Army had his best scoring performance in the Wolves’ opener against Point Loma on Nov. 13, scoring 28 points on 13 of 14 from the field.

Kaba is one of two returning starters for a Nanooks’ squad that advanced to the GNAC Championships final. The forward averaged 12.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while starting all 30 games for Alaska. His .509 field goal percentage (142-279) led the team and was ninth in the GNAC. A double-digit scorer in 20 games, Kaba finished with 19 points and six rebounds while shooting 8 of 9 from the field in the GNAC Championships final game against Western Oregon.

Beverly, last year’s GNAC Freshman of the Year, is one of two underclassmen named to the team. The forward earned a starting role for the Yellowjackets in the final month of the season and fnished the year averaging 13 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. In addition to his work on the blocks, Beverly shot 36.5 percent from three-point range (42-115). His season was capped by a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds against Northwest (Wash.) on Dec. 12.

Alaska Anchorage had three total selections to the Preseason All-Conference Team. Forward Corey Hammell was a Second Team All-GNAC selection after averaging 12.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Hammell had double-doubles in 14 games, including a 17-point, 17-rebound effort against Northwest Nazarene on Dec. 5. Guard Spencer Svejcar averaged 11.8 points per game and was one of the league’s top free throw shooters at 83.6 percent.

Western Washington also had three selections to the team. Sophomore guard Trey Drechsel started the final 14 games of the season for the Vikings, averaging 11.9 points per game. He scored a season-high 27 points against Concordia on Jan. 14. Guard Taylor Stafford is the only newcomer elected to the Preseason All-Conference Team. The two-time junior college All-American appeared in 29 games for Division I Evansville in 2014-15.

Montana State Billings and Concordia each had two selections. Guard Marc Matthews led MSUB in scoring with an average of 14 points per game while shooting 40.4 percent from three-point range and 85.5 percent from the free throw line. The Honorable Mention All-GNAC pick scored a season-high of 25 points against Northwest Nazarene on Feb. 6.

Drew Martin and Latrell Wilson were both Honorable Mention All-GNAC selections in the Cavaliers’ first season in the GNAC. Martin led Concordia with averages of 15.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, topped by a 25-point, 12-rebounds double-double at Saint Martin’s on Feb. 6. Wilson averaged 14.9 points per game and was among the GNAC’s top free throw shooters at 81 percent (81-100).

Northwest Nazarene guard Bouna N’Diaye, an Honorable Mention All-GNAC selection, averaged 15.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a junior to go along with 31 blocks. Central Washington guard Dom Hunter sat out last season after transferring from Alaska Anchorage, where he averaged 13.3 points per game and shot 85 percent from the free throw line in 2014-15. Saint Martin’s guard Cole Preston rounds out the squad after averaging 8.8 points per game as a junior. His 4.5 assists per game was fourth in the GNAC.

Exhibition play for GNAC teams opens on Saturday with Simon Fraser hosting Douglas and Seattle Pacific playing at Division I BYU. The regular season commences on Fri., Nov. 4, with Alaska Anchorage hosting Portland Bible.

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sekou “Suki” Wiggs, Alaska Anchorage   
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
* Sekou “Suki” Wiggs Alaska Anchorage G 6-4 Sr. Seattle, Wash.
* Jeffrey Parker Western Washington F 6-6 Sr. Richmond, Calif.
* Tanner Omlid Western Oregon F 6-3 Jr. Monmouth, Ore.
* Bangaly Kaba Alaska F 6-6 Sr. Houston, Texas
* Preston Beverly Montana State Billings F 6-7 So. Wildomar, Calif.
Bouna N’Diaye Northwest Nazarene G 6-6 Sr. Bergen, Norway
Corey Hammell Alaska Anchorage F 6-6 Sr. Santa Rosa, Calif.
Drew Martin Concordia F 6-8 Sr. Beaverton, Ore.
Marc Matthews Montana State Billings G 6-2 Sr. Sierra Vista, Ariz.
Dom Hunter Central Washington G 6-0 Sr. Federal Way, Wash.
Cole Preston Saint Martin’s G 6-4 Sr. Escondido, Calif.
Spencer Svejcar Alaska Anchorage G 6-4 Sr. Arvada, Colo.
Trey Drechsel Western Washington G 6-6 So. Woodinville, Wash.
Latrell Wilson Concordia G 6-3 Sr. Arcata, Calif.
+ Taylor Stafford Western Washington G 6-1 Sr. Chicago, Ill.
* - indicates unanimous selection          
+ - indicates conference newcomer