COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After leading Hutchison (KS) to the 2017 NJCAA Division I Basketball Championship – Blue Dragons’ forward Shakur Juiston was honored as this season’s Spalding® NJCAA Player of the Year for Division I Thursday by the association’s men's basketball committee.
Juiston started in all 37 contests for the Blue Dragons this season, averaging 17.3 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. The Newark, New Jersey, native posted 27 double-doubles this year and scored 10 points or more in all but three outings.
He led all Division I players in defensive rebounding, snagging in 8.8 per game. His 12.1 overall rebound average ranked sixth nationally as he hauled in 10 or more rebounds in 30 games this season.
Likely his most impressive stretch of play came at the national championship tournament. Over a four game stretch, Juiston led all players in the tournament in points (88), rebounds (56) and assists (20) to earn MVP honors in guiding the Blue Dragons to their first national title since 1994.
In Hutchinson’s opening round victory over No. 13 St. Petersburg (FL) he notched a season-high 29 points. Against Eastern Florida in the finals, Juiston posted 18 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
Other notable single-game performances this season for Juiston included a triple-double against Hesston (KS) - 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists – and a 20 rebound performance against Dodge City (KS) that set a new Hutchinson single-game record.
Juiston leaves the Blue Dragons as their all-time leader in rebounds (741) and was recently named the Player of the Year in Region 6. He is currently in the process of determining where he will continue his collegiate career and is being recruited by prominent NCAA programs such as Iowa State, Kansas and UNLV.
Photos courtesy of The Hutchinson News
Since the 2013-14 season, Spalding has sponsored the NJCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Coach and Player of the Year awards. Spalding is the largest basketball equipment supplier in the world, and America's first baseball company. Spalding is the official basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) as well as the official backboard of the NBA and NCAA, the official baseball of the NJCAA and Little League World Series® and the official volleyball of the King of the Beach® Volleyball Tour. In addition to being the leading producer and marketer of basketballs, baseballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls, Spalding produces softballs under the Dudley® brand. The SPALDING® and DUDLEY® trademarks are owned by Russell Brands, LLC. For more information, visit www.spalding.com.