OVERLAND PARK, KS - For the second-straight month, senior forward Sam Gabbard (Vacaville, Calif.) has been named the Association of Division III Independents men's basketball Student-Athlete of the Month.
The senior from Vacaville concluded December averaging 15.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as the Banana Slugs went 6-3 for thei most wins in program history before the New Years. Gabbard had a career-high-tying 29 points on 7-of-12 shooting with 13 rebounds in UC Santa Cruz's win over Claremont-M-S on December 10th. It was the first UCSC win at Claremont since November 2010.
Gabbard also netted 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting with 12 rebounds in the Banana Slugs' win over Whittier on December 29th, completing the Slugs' first-ever season sweep over the Poets.
He was also named MVP of the Hoops In Hawai'i Classic as the Slugs beat Messiah and Principia in Honolulu.
"Sam has worked as hard in this off season as any athlete I've been around in all my years coaching," said head coach Ron Dubois. "Earning back-to-back player of the month awards speaks to his preparation for the role he needs to play for our team to succeed."
The senior shot 48.1 percent from the floor during the month and had four contests with 20 or more points.