Three men’s basketball players named to GNAC All-Academic Team

Photo by Paul McCarthy
Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Three members of the Alaska men’s basketball team have been named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, the league office announced Wednesday morning.

Senior forward Zach Ngawaka (Keysborough, Australia/History), junior center Sergej Pucar (Belgrade, Serbia/Business administration) and junior forward Stefan Tica (Belgrade, Serbia/Business administration) were among those honored for their academic excellence.

To be eligible for the academic team, student-athletes must have at least a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average, earn a letter and be completing at least their second year of eligibility at the current university. There is an exception for one-year transfer seniors, which allowed Ngawaka to be named to the team.

Ngawaka, a History major, holds a 3.78 GPA and has played in 23 games this season, making 17 starts. He averages 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds and has season-highs of 16 points against Multnomah and 16 rebounds versus Colorado State-Pueblo.

Pucar, a Business administration major, currently has a 3.53 GPA while starting in 22 of 24 games this season. He averages 11.6 points, a team-best 7.2 rebounds and is the GNAC’s second-leading three-point shooter (.485). He scored a career-high 26 points last Thursday against previously unbeaten Western Washington and garnered a career-high 16 rebounds on two separate occasions earlier this season.

Tica, a Business administration major, maintains a 3.83 GPA and has made nine starts in 24 games this year. He scores 8.5 points per game while also contributing 2.6 rebounds. His season highlights include 20 points against Multnomah and seven rebounds versus CSU-Pueblo.

A combined 53 student-athletes from both men’s and women’s basketball were named to the All-Academic Team, including 23 men. Saint Martin’s has a GNAC-best six men’s players on the list, followed by Seattle Pacific, with five. Joining Alaska with three members is in-state rival Alaska Anchorage.