Liberty men's basketball players Ryan Hiepler and Ezra Talbert have been named to the 2016-17 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court. The award comes from their hard work not only in the basketball court but also in the classroom.
In order to receive the honor, you academically have to be a junior or senior with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher throughout the 2016-17 academic year. Liberty is one of four schools from the Big South to have players receive NABC honors.
"I am really proud of Ezra and Ryan for being a part of this illustrious group," head coach Ritchie McKay said. "They both exemplify what it means to be a student-athlete, not only in their academic prowess, but also in their ‘teamship' and the way they serve our campus and community. They are two tremendous representatives of their family names, our program, and our university."
Despite being at Liberty for just two years, Hiepler has excelled in the classroom having completed his junior year academically. The native of Camarillo, Calif. has posted a 3.9 grade point average (GPA) majoring in economics. Hiepler played in 17 games this season, scoring a season-high eight points against Clarks Summit. In Liberty's final home game during the regular season, Hiepler provided a spark off the bench when he scored three points, recorded an assist, pulled down a rebound and made two steals in 10 minutes of playing time.
As an exercise science: pre-professional major, Talbert posted a 3.3 GPA. Throughout the basketball season, Talbert was a difference maker off the bench playing in 31 games. The native of Olathe, Kan. shot 46.4 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from three-point range. Talbert's best performance of the season came against Samford in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) when he scored a season-high 10 points, shooting a perfect 4-4 from the field and 2-2 from the free throw line.
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