Albany, NY—The Sage College's department of athletics gathered to recognize and honor the outstanding performances of the 2014-2015 year with the naming of the athletic award winners for the 15 varsity athletic teams. In addition to awarding the Gator Award, for the Most Outstanding Player, the department also named the 2014-2015 Female and Male Athletes of the Year as well as the Dean Sharon Robinson Senior Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, which is given to the senior student-athlete with the highest overall grade point average.
Men's basketball team tri-captain and senior forward Kai Deans (Miami, FL/Monsignor Pace) was honored as both the Gator of the Year in men's basketball as well as the 2014-2015 Sage Male Athlete of the Year.
Head men's basketball coach and assistant director of athletics, Brian Barnes said of Deans, "Our coaching staff is so proud to learn Kai has been named Sage Male Athlete of the Year." Barnes added, "Kai's will to win and desire to show younger players the way, were driving forces in our program reaching new heights this season. It has been a privilege to coach Kai these last two seasons and witness his growth as a student athlete. This year's senior class has laid the foundation for future success and for that we are forever grateful."
For Sages' men's basketball team, the 2014-2015 season was a memorable and record-setting one, filled with numerous awards and acclaim for the Gators. For the Gators, the season saw the team earn the program's first NCAA Division III Tournament appearance after a record-setting campaign of 23-5, marking the most wins on the program's six-year history.
The 2014-2015 Sage men's basketball team produced a program-record 23 victories this season after the Gators won the program's first-ever Skyline Conference Tournament Championship, as well as the regular-season league title. Sage recorded an 84-70 win over St. Joseph's College (L.I.) to earn its first-ever berth into the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship. The Gators compiled a 15-3 record in the Skyline and a perfect 13-0 mark at home this season, defeating teams by an average of 13.4 points per game. The Gators were unbeaten at home in Kahl Gym (13-0) over the course of the campaign. Sage was also unbeaten home or away in the month of February, going 9-0.
Also under Barnes' leadership, Deans became the program's first-ever All-American when he was named a third teamer by the NABC. Deans becomes the very first Sage student-athlete, male or female named an All-American.
Deans earned Skyline Conference Player of the Year honors as well as a selection to the NABC Atlantic Region First Team, as well as a spot on the 2014-2015 D3hoops.com Atlantic Region First Team and ECAC Metro First Team honors. The awards are all firsts for Sage's men's basketball team as Deans set records along the way this year for most points in a game (33) and most points in a season (468). He closed his career with 826 points in just two seasons as a Gator.
Dean's finished with a team-best 19 points in the Gators' NCAA contest with Amherst College, marking the 14th time this season he paced the team on the hardwood. He caps his stellar career having helped to rewrite the basketball record book. He stands No. 4 all-time in scoring and No. 5 in career rebounding while setting a new standard for best career point per game average with a 17.3 ppg average. He is ranked nationally in 12 different categories in the latest NCAA statistics release. He finished the season with a 53.7 FG% and added a 71.9% effort from the line with 35 blocked shots and added 231 rebounds on the year in 27 starts.