Wednesday, March 1st saw the Ontario Colleges Athletic Associations hand out the year end awards to the best collegiate men's basketball players in Ontario prior to the start of the 2017 OCAA Championship being hosted by the Centennial Colts, in Toronto.
The CCAA's No. 8 ranked Knights were well represented as second year guard Van Hutchinson Jr. was named a first team all-star, while third year shooting guard Lequan Hylton was named to the second team.
Hutchinson Jr's selection as an OCAA first-team all-star marks the first time a Niagara College men's basketball player has been named a first team all-star since the 2004-05 season when Craig Bauslaugh earned the accolade.
Hutchinson Jr., a dynamic six-foot-four guard from Nassau, Bahamas, is in his first year with the Knights. He averaged team highs in points (14.8), rebounds (9.9), assists (4.5), and steals (2.7) during the 2016-17 season. He joined Niagara College prior to the beginning of this season after spending 2013-14 competing for Northern Oklahoma Tonkowa, a U.S. based Junior College.
Hylton, a native of Mississauga, enjoyed a breakout 2016-17 season for the Knights. The third year shooting guard established himself as Niagara's "go to" perimeter scorer averaging 14.6 points per game. More impressively Hylton shot an impressive 44.1% from beyond the three-point arc. He is his third year with the Knights and was named the team's top-scholastic award recipient in 2015-16.
Up next the Niagara College men's basketball program will open the 2017 OCAA Championship on March 2nd at 6:00pm against the host Centennial Colts.
The two teams' lone meeting this season came early in the pre-season during a September 28th exhibition game that saw the Colts emerge with a 71-70 victory. For more information regarding the OCAA men's basketball championship, please visit the tournament website at http://ocaa.com/championships/mbkl/2016-17/index.