LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- In exclusive voting by the senior woman administrators of the conference, Keenan Gumbs of Schreiner University has been selected the 2018 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Man of the Year.
Gumbs is the first Schreiner student-athlete to earn SCAC Man of the Year honors.
The SCAC Man of the Year award recognizes senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. The inaugural SCAC Man of the Year award was presented in 2013.
"I'm very blessed and honored to receive this award," said Gumbs. "It is very special because it doesn't only encompass athletic performance, it also includes all aspects of being a devoted student, leader on campus, and a serving member of the Schreiner and Kerrville communities. During my four years at Schreiner, I had so many opportunities to be involved in a variety of areas that I never could have imagined possible."
"Receiving this award speaks to me; it says, 'I made a difference.' I'm very grateful for being recognized among the great leaders of the SCAC, and as a representative of Schreiner University."
On the hardwood, Gumbs earned Third Team All-America honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches after leading Schreiner to the program's first-ever SCAC tournament title and a second-straight regular season championship. The Mountaineers' trip to the NCAA Division III tournament was also the first in program history.
Gumbs averaged 21.2 points per game, while grabbing just over seven rebounds and one steal per contest. He also totaled 47 assists on the season. He shot 49.9% from the field and 43.3% from distance, both marks that rank in the league's top-10.
He was named the 2017-18 SCAC Player of the Year and earned tournament MVP honors. On a regional level, he earned a spot on both the NABC and D3hoops.com first-team All-South lists.
During his three seasons as a member of the men's basketball team, Gumbs scored 1,131 points, earned All-SCAC First Team honors twice and led the Mountaineers to back-to-back regular season titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18. He was also honored as the institution's Student-Athlete of the Year in both 2017 and 2018.
"To say I am proud of Keenan (for winning this award) would be an understatement, especially with all the great nominees for Man of the Year from our conference," said Schreiner head men's basketball coach Connor Kuykendall. "He is the true definition of a student-athlete. Ever since he joined our university and basketball program he has been a leader, both in the class room and on the basketball court. He is one of the hardest-working, most genuine young man I have ever been around. There are only great things ahead for him and I cannot wait to see what happens next."
Off the court, Gumbs was a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, the Kappa Mu Epsilon Math Honor Society and the Sigma Alpha Phi Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. A four-time SCAC Academic Honor Roll honoree, he earned CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team and All-American Third Team recognition folloiwng the 2017-18 season.
"Being a part of a basketball program that didn't succeed initially, and helping to transform it to a successful one shows experience in overcoming obstacles," said Gumbs. "I'm fortunate to now understand what it takes to succeed, not only on the court but also in the classroom. Balancing a heavy course load while also being an extremely committed athlete has helped me develop time management skills and the discipline necessary to succeed as I continue in life."
Just as he did in the classroom and on the court, Gumbs took a great deal of pride in leading by example in the campus community.
He has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life and the Salvation Army and earned SCAC Character & Community Student-Athlete of the Week with his work with the American Red Cross and Hurrican Harvey relief efforts.
Gumbs, who graduated with a 3.70 GPA in Exercise Science, was a member of Schreiner's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as that group's Vice President in 2015-16 and President the last two years. He was captain of the basketball team his junior and senior seasons.
"Sacrificing my own time to help improve life for others that are less fortunate or those that don't have as much a voice on campus humbled me and showed me another facet of leadership," said Gumbs. "I've truly experienced what it takes to be steadfast and how to lead at Schreiner."
Gumbs, who is the school's first SCAC MOTY recipient, was one of eight outstanding nominees considered by the SCAC Man of the Year Committee. The other candidates were:
- Collin Vu, swimming, Austin College
- Travion Kirkendoll, basketball, Centenary College
- Theo Hooker, soccer, Texas Lutheran University
- Grant Gideon, tennis, Southwestern University
- Alejandro Briseno, track & field, Texas Lutheran University
- Dylan Drgac, baseball, Texas Lutheran University
- Matt Love, track & field, Trinity University
To read about past winners of the SCAC Man-of-the-Year award, click here.
Year-by-year SCAC Man of the Year Honorees:
2018 - Keenan Gumbs, basketball, Schreiner University
2017 - Soren Frykholm, soccer, Colorado College
2016 - Madison Ross, football, Austin College
2015 – Aaron Skinner, tennis, Trinity University
2014 – Kaleb Roush, swimming, Colorado College
2013 – Nick Lammers, soccer, Colorado College