Men’s and Women’s Basketball Players Receive Awards

Sean Okula, Staff Writer

Shamorie Ponds might not hear his name called on Draft Night, but he sure is padding that NBA résumé.

He and fellow sophomore guard Justin Simon were recognized by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association with a pair of All-Met honors on Monday.

Ponds earned a spot on the First Team for the second straight year, while Simon picks up Second Team honors after his first season in Queens.

The National Invitational Tournament and MBWA team up to honor the best of-the-best in the New York collegiate hoops scene with a series of awards every year, the All-Met Team honorees among them. Last year, Ponds was named the metropolitan area’s Rookie of the Year following his sensational freshman campaign.

The two join a long line of St. John’s alumni to receive an MBWA accolade. Coach Chris Mullin won three Haggerty Awards, given to the best New York area player, in his four seasons in Queens. This year’s Haggerty Award winner will be announced Wednesday afternoon.

Off of a Big East scoring title, Ponds is quickly filling up his trophy room. During the season, he picked up a pair of Big East and National Player of the Week awards.

March brought him an All-Big East First Team honor, and once the season concluded he added an All-American Honorable Mention, a spot on the NABC Division I All-District Second Team, and First Team All-ECAC honors.

The Brooklyn native set the school’s sophomore scoring record with 21.7 points per game, while adding 4.7 assists and 2.3 steals per contest, both good for top-five on the Big East leaderboards.

The uber-athletic Simon might have gone under the radar in 2017-18, but the California native’s advanced skill set made he and Shamorie a deadly backcourt combo. The Arizona transfer used quick hands to lead the Big East with 2.5 steals per game, and his lanky frame led to nine double-doubles and a team-leading 7.1 rebounds per matchup.

The pickpocketing guard started all 33 Red Storm contests, shooting 47 percent from the field to the tune of 12.2 points per game. His average of 5.1 assists was good for second in the conference.

Ponds, having conditionally declared for the NBA Draft, will soon turn his focus to the Draft Combine coming up in mid-May. Pending a good showing in Chicago, Ponds will decide whether or not he will return for his junior season.

He is currently a longshot to break into the first round.The newly-minted backcourt staple Simon is expected back for his redshirt-junior season come next fall.

On the women’s side, Maya Singleton was named to the All-Met First team, Qadashah Hoppie landed on the second team and Alisha Kebbe was selected for the third team.

Singleton led the team in both points and rebounds in her senior season. Hoppie was one of three players on the team to average in double-figure scoring, while Kebbe chipped in more than nine points a game and five rebounds.

The three players honored on the women’s side were key pieces in the team’s run to the WNIT Quarterfinals.

The players were honored Wednesday at the NIT/MBWA All-Met Haggerty Awards in Tarrytown, New York.