March 15, 2009
POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – The NAIA announced the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ (NABC)-NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Coach of the Year and the State Farm-NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Player of the Year recipients tonight (March 15) at the Hall of Fame & Semifinalists Banquet. The awards banquet took place on the Showboat Branson Belle in Point Lookout, Mo., site of the Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship.
Bethel (Ind.) College senior forward William Walker and Oklahoma Wesleyan University Head Coach Donnie Bostwick received the national awards. NAIA President/CEO Jim Carr made the presentations, while NAIA Championship Sport Manager Scott McClure made the announcements.
Walker, a 2008 NAIA Second Team All-American, earned Mid-Central Collegiate Conference Player of the Year honors in his senior season with the Pilots. Walker averaged 20 points and 8.9 rebounds heading into the NAIA Division II National Championship. He is one of only four Bethel College players in the school's history to score over 2,000 points, grab over 1,000 rebounds and block over 400 shots. Bethel won both the MCCC Regular Season and Tournament this year and claimed the No. 2-seed in the national tournament. The Pilots take on host College of the Ozarks (Mo.) tomorrow night in the second national semifinal game.
Walker joins teammate Rico Swanson as the only Pilot to receive the Player of the Year honor. Rico won the award in back-to-back seasons in 1997 and 1998.
Bostwick led Oklahoma Wesleyan to its first national tournament appearance in 2008 in his first season as head coach. In 2009, he guided the Eagles to regular-season and conference tournament titles in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference and to their first 30-win season in the school's history. Oklahoma Wesleyan was rated No. 1 the final four weeks in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 poll. OWU earned the top-seed in the 32-team national tournament. The Eagles face No. 5 seed Black Hills State (S.D.) University on Monday in the first semifinal game.
The 18th Annual NAIA Men's Division II National Championship is hosted by the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo. Monday’s semifinals are scheduled for 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. in Keeter Gymnasium. Tuesday night's championship final will be aired by CBS College Sports and is scheduled to tip-off at 8:50 p.m.