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Men’s college basketball: Two LSUS players named NAIA All-Americans


By Tanner Craft, LSUS Assistant Athletic Director for Communications

After another historic season for the LSUS Basketball team that featured a Red River Athletic Conference East Division Championship, a RRAC Tournament Championship, a NAIA Opening Round Championship, and a trip to the National Tournament Round of 16 – two Pilots were given the honor of All-American that seemed only fitting.

After a season full of remarkable individual performances, Leondre Washington was named a NAIA Second Team All-American and Jeff Boyd was named a NAIA Third Team All-American.

“What a tremendous honor for both Leondre and Jeff to be recognized amongst the top-36 players in the country,” said LSUS Head Coach Kyle Blankenship. “They are more than deserving to be named as All-Americans and I couldn’t be any happier for the two of them.”

Washington was named an All-American by the league on Thursday, making it the second straight season earning the prestigious honor. Washington was also named First Team All-Conference in the RRAC, just adding to the hardware he has compiled throughout his Pilot career. He led the Pilots in scoring this season at a 16.7 points per game clip. He also averaged 3.6 rebounds and three assists all while shooting 84 percent from the free throw line.

When it came time for postseason play, Washington was ready for the challenge. In the final six games of the year, starting with the Quarterfinals of the RRAC Tournament, Washington averaged 20.2 points per game, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. He played the most minutes of any Pilot down the stretch in the final six games, 216 minutes, all while shooting 40 percent from the field. He scored a tournament high 30 points in the Pilots’ NAIA Opening Round game against Missouri Baptist, giving the Pilots a huge boost of momentum going through the National Tournament. 

“Leondre has been the catalyst for our team the last couple of seasons,” said Coach Blankenship. “He will leave LSUS as one of the most decorated two-year Pilots in program history. His impact both on and off the floor, along with the special relationship he has with my three kids, will be greatly missed.” 

Along with his Third Team All-American selection, Boyd was also named the Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference in the RRAC as the senior truly did it all for the Pilots. Offensively, Boyd averaged 14.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and two assists per game. Defensively however, Boyd was lights out all season. He totaled 43 steals and 30 blocks on the season and continuously made it tough on any offensive player he was defending. He helped the Pilots hold their opponents to 71 points per game and 42 percent shooting from the field.

Boyd notched the best game of his career in late February when he scored 47 points in a Pilots’ victory over Texas College. In that game, Boyd shot 17-25 from the field and 9-15 from beyond the arc and was of course named the conference player of the week after that performance. Boyd continued his stellar play as the Pilots began postseason play. Over the course of the RRAC Tournament and the NAIA National Tournament, he averaged 12.3 points per game while shooting 47 percent from the field.

He also averaged 5.3 rebounds and two assists per game as the Pilots made it all the way to the Round of 16. He scored a postseason high 24 points in the Pilots’ RRAC Semifinal win against LSUA – the third time the Pilots defeated their in-state rival this season.

“For three seasons, Jeff has been one of the best all-around players in the country,” continued Blankenship. “He is as good as any two-way player this program has had in my ten seasons as head coach. His impact on the defensive end of the floor was game changing night in and out. He is a winner and will go down as one of the all-time greats to ever put on a LSUS jersey.”

Both Washington and Boyd will earn their degrees from LSUS this May. 

The possibilities are endless for these two Pilot legends.

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