HUNTSVILLE - Sam Houston State senior Ryan Bright was one of 15 NCAA Division I men's basketball players named to the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America team on Tuesday. Bright, a third-team selection, currently carries a 3.59 GPA as a kinesiology major.
The Academic All-America team is selected by vote of members of the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA).
Bright ranks fifth in NCAA Division I men's basketball in rebounds with 11.2 boards per game. The Deer Park product scores 11.2 points per contest. He ranks fourth in Sam Houston career rebounds with 910 boards and ninth in career scoring with more than 1,345 points. During his four years at SHSU, the Bearkats have produced an 80-37 won-loss record including back-to-back 20-victory seasons in 2006 and 2007.
But with all of the success Bright is having on the basketball court, his
real mark is being made in the classroom. The senior has always put books ahead of basketballs and last year he was rewarded for it. Last season he was named the Southland Conference Basketball Student Athlete of the year.
"That was something mom and dad are more proud of than any basketball accomplishment because that translates more to life than basketball," Bright said.
The act of balancing basketball and academics had been pretty easy for
Bright. He said it was something he made a point of emphasis when he first stepped foot on the SHSU campus.
"Getting an education is first and foremost," Bright said. "That has always been the case for me. That is something I learned from my parents a long time ago. Basketball was always just a means to get an education."
A total of 15 Division I players were recognized for their academic
achievements as well as what they do on the court. Only two players from the state of Texas were on the list, with D.J. Augustine from Texas earning first-team recognition.
The Bearkats have four more regular season games this year beginning
Wednesday with a road contest against Texas-Arlington.
ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America
Name - School - Class - GPA - Major
D.J. Augustin - Texas - So. - 3.64 - Education
Adam Emmenecker - Drake - Sr. - 3.97 - Management Finance
Justin Hare - Belmont - Sr.- 3.87 Exercise Science & Health
Jack Leasure - Coastal Carolina - Sr. - 3.82 - History
Brett Winkelman - North Dakota State - Jr. - 3.84 - Industrial Engineering
A.J. Graves - Butler - Sr. - 3.35 - Actuarial Science
Bryan Mullins - Southern Illinois - Jr. - 4.00 Finance
Drew Neitzel- Michigan State - Sr. - 3.27 - Humanities
Joe Reitz - Western Michigan - Sr. - 3.72 - Finance
Mike Schachtner - Wisconsin-Green Bay - Jr. - 3.81 - Psychology
Ryan Bright - Sam Houston State - Sr. - 3.59 - Kinesiology
Matt Nelson - Boise State - Sr.- 3.52 - Business
Greg Paulus - Duke - Jr. - 3.30 - Political Science
Alex Ruoff - West Virginia - Jr. - 3.79 - History
Drew Streicher - Butler - Gr. - 3.95 - Chemistry, MBA