WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Kyle Born, a senior forward on the Whitman College men's basketball team, has earned Academic All-American honors.
Born, who led the Northwest Conference (NWC) in scoring and rebounding this season, was named to ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-American Second Team. Born, who graduates in May with a degree in English, was honored in the College Division, which includes all schools in the nation affiliated with NCAA Divisions II and III as well as all NAIA-affiliated schools.
The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) 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, a 6-foot-6 forward, enjoyed a stellar senior campaign, averaging 19.5 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 58.4 percent from the floor and collecting a conference-high 13 double-doubles. He twice earned NWC Player of the Week honors, and he was runner-up for NWC Player of the Year in voting by conference coaches. He was voted to the All-NWC First Team, after earning Second-Team honors as a junior and receiving Honorable Mention recognition as a sophomore.
In December, Born erupted for 53 points against the University of Redlands. That tied the NWC single-game scoring record set in 1955 by future NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor when he was playing for the College of Idaho (now Albertson College).
In early February, Born was named to the Academic All-District First Team for District VIII, which represents several western states and British Columbia. First-team winners from around the nation then were eligible for national honors. Born was voted the Academic All-District Second Team as a junior.
There were no West Coast players named to the Academic All-American First Team this season, but Born was joined on the Second Team by Chapman University's Patrick Carney. Daniel Markus of the University of Redlands made the Third Team. Both Chapman and Redlands are NCAA Div. III schools located in California.
Despite playing limited minutes as a freshman and battling a series of nagging injuries over the past three years, Born finished his college career with 985 points and 621 rebounds. He shot over 60 percent from the floor as a collegian and racked up 25 double-doubles over the past three seasons.
Off the court, Born has volunteered the past three years with the Whitman Mentor program, working with the same 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 is pursuing a minor in rhetoric and film studies, has career interests in writing and film production. He wrote his senior English paper on the magic of childhood imagination as presented in the popular Calvin and Hobbes comic series.
Born is the latest in a a string of Whitman athletes to earn Academic All-American honors in recent years. Laura Valaas (nordic skiing) and Hillary Chisholm (soccer) both earned Second-Team honors for the 2005-06 academic year. Brad Changstrom (tennis) was voted to the Third Team in both 2003-04 and 2004-05.
Changstrom '05, who recently completed an internship with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, is serving as an assistant coach on the men's tennis team this spring while applying for entrance to medical school. Valaas '06, who majored in applied mathematics, is skiing with the U.S. Nordic Ski Team and has placed her graduate school studies on hold. Chisholm '06 plans to enter medical school this fall.
Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information,
(509) 527-5902; email@example.com