In Rarified Air: Sapp Captures Second SCAC Player of Year Accolade
Saturday, February 25, 2017

SHREVEPORT, La. – The list of two-time Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Players of the Year just expanded to three – and the Gents are represented twice.

Senior James Sapp became the first player in nine seasons to lead the conference in both points and rebounds per game, and the first to win the award in non-consecutive seasons, as he garnered SCAC Player of the Year accolades in a vote conducted by the league’s head coaches that was released at the Conference Tournament Saturday night, February 25.

Junior Travion Kirkendoll was named All-Conference for the third straight year, appearing on the Second Team. Sophomore Treylan Matthews grabbed Honorable Mention accolades for the second time.

“James career body of work has been impressive,” explained head coach Adam Walsh. “His daily approach to be the best competitor that he can be set an example for the rest of the team. He has capped his career with a phenomenal single season, being the first player in nine seasons to lead the league in scoring and rebounding.

“I am proud of him for his growth and development. I hope the lessons, love-commitment-perseverance-attitude-effort he has learned through the sport will be with him forever as he continues to develop as a man and a member of the community,” added Walsh.

Sapp was also named First Team All-Conference for the third-straight season.

The 2014-15 SCAC Player of the Year as a sophomore, only the second player to have won the honor as a sophomore, Sapp finished the season with 21.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game – which ranks 33rd and 42nd in the country, respectively. The second-straight season averaging a double-double, he finished 2016-17 with 15 double-doubles and his career with 38.

With 263 rebounds this season, he broke the SCAC career record. He finished with 953 rebounds and 1,551 points. In his final home game of his career, he became only the fifth Gent and the first player in conference history to finish with more than 1500 points and 900 career rebounds.

This season, he scored the seventh-most points (43) in a single game in program history in a 98-95 loss against Texas Lutheran January 22. He was named SCAC Player of the Week on November 28 and February 20, receiving that honor eight times in his Gents career.

A First Team honoree in both his freshman and sophomore seasons, Kirkendoll finished second in the conference in scoring (18.0 points per game) and fourth in rebounding (7.1 rebounds per game). He also leads the conference and is 71st in the nation with 2.08 steals per game. He finished the season with four double-doubles.

Kirkendoll poured in a career-best 35 points in the loss to Texas Lutheran January 22. He was named SCAC Player of the Week December 12, after he scored 17 points in an 80-77 win over Louisiana College December 8. In the game, he became the 33rd Gent with 1,000 career points.

"Travion got locked in over the second half of the year and had some big performances for us as a leader," said Walsh. He grew in many areas of his game this season and took steps to round out his repertoire of skills and abilities. Hit tireless work ethic has helped propel him to where he currently stands. I know he's already itching to get back on the court, so we will have to wait and see what he brings to the table in another year!"

Matthews received Honorable Mention accolades after finishing second on the team with more than three assists per game, third with 10.5 points, and fourth with 4.5 rebounds per game. He finished the season with one double-double and nearly had a triple-double (10 assists, eight points, and eight rebounds) in Centenary’s 102-98 win in overtime in the final home game of the year February 18.

"Treylan has continued to grow and mature, and we are proud of this acknowlegement he has received from this conference," explained Walsh. "He finished strong for us in our season-ending loss, and we look forward to his focus and determination next year."