WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Kyle Born, a junior on the Whitman College men's basketball team, has been named named to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-District Second Team.
Born, a 6-foot-6 forward, is one of seven players, and one of only two players from the Northwest Conference (NWC), to earn second-team honors for men's basketball in the College Division of District VIII. The district includes all NCAA Div. II/Div. III and NAIA schools in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona, as well as British Columbia.
Born and Pacific Lutheran's Drew Cardwell are the only NWC players named to the seven-man second team. Phil Heu-Weller, who plays at George Fox, is one five players named to the first team.
The College Sports Information Directors of America (Co-SIDA) administers the Academic All-America program, which is in its 55th year and has honored more than 14,000 students at all levels for all recognized NCAA sports.
Born, who played his prep ball at Stanwood (Wash.) High School, is majoring in English at Whitman with a minor in rhetoric and film studies. He has a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale.
Born, who missed the first six games of the season with a broken foot, bounced back with a vengeance in the month of January. In eight NWC games, he posted five double-doubles and missed a sixth by a single rebound. He averaged 19.6 points, shooting 70.3 percent, and grabbed 12.6 rebounds a night during the eight-game span. He combined 27 points and a career-high 22 rebounds in one game against conference-leading Puget Sound.
For the season, Born is averaging 14.5 points and 9.3 rebounds in 14 games. In 10 NWC games, his numbers are 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds. He leads the NWC in rebounding.
Despite a mid-season battle with a back injury, Born earned All-NWC Honorable Mention recognition last year. He led Whitman in rebounding, averaging 8.0 boards per game, while scoring 11.5 points per outing. He led the NWC in field goal percentage, making 62.6 percent of his shots from the floor, which ranked him 13th nationally in NCAA Division III.
Born's back problems surfaced last season after one four-game stretch in which he averaged 20.8 points and 11.8 rebounds while shooting 79.5 percent from the floor. He had five double-doubles during his sophomore campaign, including a 34-point, 16-rebound effort against Redlands.
Born has volunteered the past two years with the Whitman Mentor program, working with a young boy at a Walla Walla elementary school. "He helps me stay connected with our youth," Born says. "It's good for the imagination because I can return to a place where life is just beginning and ideas are forming. Children are catalysts for the imagination. I also enjoy having a positive impact on children who otherwise have poor role models or lack positive interactions at home."
Born, who has career interests in writing and movie production, illustrated and wrote a children's book in Spanish last year. Titled "La Jirafa Cobarde (The Cowardly Giraffe)," the books goes through a baby giraffe's journey to find his courage through the lessons of his mother.
Born is the son of Janet Mott of Camano Island, Wash., and Robert Born of Edgewood, Wash.
Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, (509) 527-5902