Kassidy De Jong

De Jong

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Northwestern basketball players Colton Kooima and Kassidy De Jong have been named first team NAIA Division II All-Americans.

Kooima, a junior from Sioux Falls and De Jong, a sophomore from Hospers, Iowa (Unity Christian) were two of the four first-team selections from the Great Plains Athletic Conference.

Doane senior Hanah Barnard and Dakota Wesleyan senior Tate Martin, the GPAC women’s and men’s players of the year, respectively, also earned first-team All-American honors.

Kooima led the Red Raiders and the GPAC in scoring at 24 points per game, a total that ranked sixth in the NAIA. He drained 90 three-point baskets, third-most in the GPAC while shooting 91 percent from the free throw line, third-best in the NAIA.

Kooima scored in double figures in 30 of his 32 games, scoring over 30 seven times this season. He’ll enter his senior season ranked 10th all-time in scoring at Northwestern with 1,729 points and fifth with 222 three-pointers.

De Jong, who became the program’s 31st player to reach 1,000 career points, averaged 18.3 per game, second-most in the conference behind Barnard. An honorable mention All-American last winter she ranked eighth in the GPAC in free throw percentage and fourth in rebounding.

The GPAC had five others earn All-American honors on either the second or third team, two males and three females while 11 more were awarded honorable mention AA honors.

Morningside senior Lexi Ackerman earned third-team honors after twice being named an honorable mention selection. The Rock Rapids, Iowa native who prepped at Central Lyon was the Mustangs second leading scorer (15.2 ppg) and rebounder (5.2) this season. She had a team-high 107 assists while also contributing 57 steals to a team that reached the NAIA national tournament for the 15th straight season.

Ackerman leaves as the school’s seventh-leading scorer (1,674 points), third in assists (524), 10th in steals (267) and 19th in rebounds (563).

Briar Cliff sophomore Erich Erdman earned third-team honors during a season in which the Forest City, Iowa native led the team in scoring at 18.5 points third-most in the GPAC. He ranked second in NAIA in free throw percentage going 154-for-166 for 92.8 percent.

Earning honorable mention honors were Briar Cliff senior guard Bryan Forbes and Morningside senior forward Bryce Koch and junior guard Madison Braun.

Forbes, from Lone Tree, Iowa, closed his career ninth on the school’s scoring list (1,729) while averaging 17.5 points. He led the Chargers in rebounding at 7.7 per contest while playing in a school-record 132 games.

Koch, a Dell Rapids, S.D., native, was the Mustangs leading scorer (15.7) and rebounder (7.8) this season. He added team-highs in steals (32) and blocked shots (30) as well. He finished his career 12th on the school’s scoring chart with 1,252 points.

Braun (Bellevue, Neb.) led Morningside women in scoring at 15.9 points per game while her team-high 116 steals, an average of 3.5 per game, were third-most in the NAIA. She’ll enter her senior season with 1,272 points while ranking seventh in steals (280) and fifth in three-pointers made (252).

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