Skyhawks get smart, on and off the court

Fort Lewis College basketball players don’t just have high basketball IQs, they’re pretty good in the classroom, too.

Nine Skyhawks – six women, three men – were named to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s All-Academic teams earlier this week. Three of them – Alex Easterbrook, Ashley Kuchar and Torrey Udall – were first-team selections.

The teams are made up of players with grade-point averages of 3.30 or higher that have completed at least two consecutive semesters or three quarters at their current institution. The league’s sports information directors select the teams.

Easterbrook, a senior guard, carries a 4.0 grade-point average in psychology and landed on her third consecutive all-academic list. She was an honor roll member the last two years. A two-year starter, she’s averaging 8.5 points and has 47 total assists this season for the Skyhawks.

Kuchar, a junior guard, maintains a 3.95 GPA in psychology with a coaching minor. It’s her second all-academic selection, following an honor roll nod a year ago. Kuchar currently leads the Skyhawks with 13.2 points per game.

Udall has a 3.72 GPA in business administration with minors in Spanish and economics. It’s his fourth consecutive selection to the all-academic team and his second consecutive first-team honor. The senior center is averaging 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the No. 17 Skyhawks.

“He is a great student, a fierce competitor and an outstanding ambassador of Fort Lewis College,” FLC associate head men’s basketball coach Bob Pietrack said in a news release.

For the women’s team, Erika Richards earned a second-team nod, while Mary Brinton, Katerina Garcia and Christie Groh were honor roll selections.

“The great thing about all six (selections) is that they epitomize what it is to be a true student-athlete,” FLC head women’s basketball coach Jason Flores said in a news release. “They work extremely hard on the court; however, they put forth that same effort in the classroom knowing the importance of life after basketball.”

Richards carries a 3.81 GPA in exercise science-physiology with a coaching minor, and she was an honor roll selection for her work on the hardwood and in the classroom last year. The junior guard is second on the team with 11.1 points per game.

Brinton, a redshirt freshman forward from Pagosa Springs, has a 3.64 GPA in exercise science-athletic training and received all-academic honors in her first time eligible. She’s averaging 3.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game off the bench for FLC.

Garcia, a senior guard and Durango High School alumna, has a 3.35 GPA in art-graphic design and a business administration minor to go with her 10.1 points per game average and team-leading 59 assists.

Groh, a junior post, has a 3.55 GPA as an education-secondary math teacher major, and it’s her second consecutive honor roll nod. She’s averaging 10.2 points and a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per contest.

On the men’s side, Udall was joined by honor roll selections Kevin Flohr, a sophomore, and senior guard Matthias Weissl.

“Matthias has been a staple in our program for five years. He deserves to be recognized for his contributions on and off the court,” Pietrack said. “Kevin is an excellent student and a valuable member of our program.”

Weissl, also a teammate of Udall’s at Roaring Fork High School, has a 3.64 GPA in economics to go with his .419 3-point field goal percentage this season, and the honor marks his fourth consecutive selection. Flohr has a 3.79 GPA in business administration.

Alyssa Lopez of New Mexico Highlands (3.81 GPA) and Metro State’s Mitch McCarron (3.91 GPA) were named the league’s academic players of the year.