Six LCCC basketball players named to All-Academic Team

Six LCCC basketball players named to All-Academic Team

Luzerne County Community College's basketball team is showing everyone they have what it takes both on and off the court.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (EPAC) recently named six Trailblazers to the All-Academic Team. For EPAC to name a player to the team, the person has to play in a fall sport and have a minimum grade point average of 3.25.

The players who made the All-Academic Team are Michael Crespo Ruiz, William Preston, Matthew Panchura, Ousmane Diallo, John Occhipinti, and Lane Haneef.*

"We are so proud of the student athletes who made the All-Academic Team because it not only shows their commitment and dedication to the game but also to their academics," said LCCC President Thomas P. Leary. "These players are role models for our College community because they demonstrate how a person can excel in life through hard work and commitment. Additionally, our dedicated faculty and staff have played an important role in guiding them and others in their educational journeys by serving as educators, coaches, and mentors. At LCCC, we are committed to the betterment of each and every student. An education they receive here makes them well prepared when they enter the local workforce and participate in community leadership activities."

LCCC head basketball coach Ron Strothers said he is proud of his players and said their achievement shows their passion for the game and their studies.

"I'm pleased with their hard work on the court and their ability to take that passion and apply it to the classroom," said Strothers, who is also an associate professor at the College. "These players have shown us they have a strong work ethic because they have the ability to not only perform well on the court but also perform well academically. These players are laying the groundwork for their futures because they are showing themselves they can excel in multiple areas of their lives."

By offering students a chance to play at the collegiate level, LCCC is providing another learning opportunity the students can take with them throughout their lives.

"I'm really proud of all of our student athletes, especially those who received Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (EPAC) All-Academic Team honors," said Tyler Russell, director of Student Life and Athletics. "The Luzerne County Community College Athletic Programs strive to be a means to an education for students, giving students an additional way to engage with their college experience while working towards a degree. Studies show that participating in an extracurricular activity can help a student improve academically because it teaches them problem solving, time management and critical-thinking skills, and these students are proof."