Highsmith Named Region Player of the Year

Wheeling Jesuit’s Haywood Highsmith was named the Atlantic Region Player of the Year. Photo by Kyle Lutz

BRIDGEPORT–The Cardinals’ double-double machine received another prestigious honor on Monday afternoon. Wheeling Jesuit’s Haywood Highsmith was voted as the Atlantic Region Player of the Year and top honoree on the 2017-18 Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) All-Atlantic Region Men’s Basketball Team.

The Mountain East Conference Player of the Year and Tournament Most Valuable Player, Highsmith led the NCAA DII ranks with 29 double-doubles in 31 games this year. The Baltimore, Md., native led the Atlantic Region in rebounding at 12.5 per game and rated fourth in scoring at 22.0 points. The 6-7 forward added averages of 3.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.8 blocks, while he made over 55-percent from the field, including a 40.5-percent clip from 3-point range (49 of 121).

Highsmith joins fellow MEC members Tommy Bolte of Concord and Dan Monteroso from West Liberty on the five-player All-Atlantic Region First Team. Shippensburg’s Dustin Sleva and Micah Till out of Slippery Rock were the other two members.

Sports information directors from the Atlantic Region schools and conferences selected the two all-region teams.

Highsmith came into a class of his own even moreso this season where he improved his season numbers from his junior season by 6.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.

Of his nation-leading 29 double-doubles, Haywood showed his versatility in his final home game where he had 13 points to go with a career-best 10 assists and eight rebounds, his first one consisting of assists.

He hit over 30 points five times, including a 31-point, 11-rebound and four-assist effort in the MEC Tournament Championship game.

The Cardinal senior added one final double-double last weekend with 25 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, three assists and three steals in the team’s tough 82-77 loss against West Chester in the Atlantic Regional First Round.

In his career, Highsmith finished with 1,952 points where he made over 55.3-percent of his career field goal attempts (740 of 1339), downed 98 3-pointers, and pulled down 1,251 rebounds. He also had 278 assists, 176 blocked shots and 159 steals in 127 career games.