Toomey Named NABC National Player of the Year
Contact: Ben Badua
ATLANTA - Continuing to rake in accolades for his outstanding junior season, Amherst College guard Aaron Toomey ’14 was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division III Player of the Year on Monday.
One of just two juniors to garner first team NABC All-America recognition, Toomey adds this highest honor to an already full trophy case. Also the NABC Northeast District Player of the Year, he was named to the D3hoops.com All-America team after garnering NESCAC Player of the Year honors.
Toomey is the second guard from head coach David Hixon’s program to earn National Player of the Year honors in the past decade, joining Andrew Olson ’08 – the lone winner in 2008 after sharing the honor in 2007 – on an elite list of Amherst student-athletes. For the third consecutive year, one the nation’s highest honorees has called LeFrak Gym home after Caroline Stedman ’12 and Jaci Daigneault ’11 were named women’s Player of the Year after their senior seasons.
Already ninth on the program’s scoring charts (1,400), Toomey is approaching the end of a stellar junior campaign, posting career-high averages in several offensive categories, including field goal percentage (.440), three-point shooting percentage (.427) and assists per game (4.9). Leading the team in scoring 10 times, he twice tied a career-high with 34 points against Colby on Jan. 19 and RIC on Jan. 29. Dishing out a personal-best 12 assists against Curry in mid-November, he currently sits third in the league in helpers per game and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).
Among the conference leaders in scoring (17.4 ppg), the Greensboro, N.C. native has been at his best in the NCAA Tournament with consecutive 25-point efforts in Amherst’s second- and third-round wins to go with 9-of-18 combined shooting from long range and averages of 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Finishing with 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting in the Elite Eight against Cabrini, he was one of just two Jeffs in double figures in a 52-44 defensive struggle against North Central in the national semifinals.
Setting Amherst’s single-season record for free throws made (182) and free-throw percentage (.910) last season, Toomey has been nearly as effective from the charity stripe in 2012-13, ranking sixth nationally in FT percentage (.897), connecting on 130 of his 145 attempts.
Amherst will play Mary Hardin-Baylor in the 2013 NCAA Division III national championship game at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. on Sunday, Apr. 7. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. Admission to the game is free of charge and it will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.