News release date: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002

Bell Named Second-Team Academic All-American in District VIII

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Rob Bell, who averaged 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in his senior basketball season at Whitman College, has earned Second-Team Academic All-America honors in the college division of District VIII.

The college division includes all NCAA Div. II and Div. III schools as well as those schools affiliated with the NAIA. District VIII encompasses the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Alaska.

Bell, a 6-foot-8 post player, has maintained a 3.7 grade point average at Whitman, one of the most academically selective schools in the region. He is majoring in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology and will graduate in May.

Bell, who plans a career as a physician, is also an accomplished classical pianist. He has performed Prokofiev's 7th Piano Sonata in recital, and plans a recital later spring with works from Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin.

In 16 Northwest Conference games this season, Bell made 58.5 percent of his shots from the floor to lead the league in that statistical category. A senior captain, Bell averaged 6.6 rebounds against NWC opponents to rank eighth in that category. He also had four double-doubles (points, rebounds) during the conference season.

Slowed by a foot injury and limited to parts of 16 games as a freshman, Bell elevated his level of play in each of the next three seasons. He finished with career numbers that include 736 points and 426 rebounds.

"It has been a pleasure and an honor to have an athlete, a student and a person of Rob Bell's calibre representing Whitman College for the past four years," Whitman basketball coach Skip Molitor said. "His performance steadily improved throughout his career, culminating in a senior season in which he led the conference in field goal percentage and was eighth in rebounding. His leadership all along was exceptional."

"Those of us at Whitman will enjoy following his career, beginning with his applications to medical schools at Virginia, Duke, UCLA and Washington University in St. Louis."

Bell, a graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif., is the son of Rita and Lewis Bell of Salinas, Calif.

The Academic All-America program is sponsored by Verizon Wireless and administered by the College Sports Information Directors of America.


Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, 509 527-5902