Gage Wooten, a sophomore on the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team this past season, has received honorable mention All-American honors from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
NJCAA officials recently posted this year’s All-American listing on the organization’s website at http://www.njcaa.org/sports_awards.cfm?category=Award%20Winners&sid=4&divid=1&slid=2.
“We are extremely happy for and proud of Gage,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said. “He has earned it as much as any student-athlete we’ve ever had. He’s overcome serious surgery and persevered.”
Wooten, a 6-foot, 4-inch guard/forward, averaged 18 points and 7 rebounds during the 2011-2012 regular season. He shot 55 percent from the field, 34 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent from the charity stripe. Against region opponents, he averaged 16 points and six rebounds and shot 53 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3-point range and 91 percent from the free throw line.
Wooten also recorded seven double-doubles during the season, including a 23 point and 13 rebound performance against Region 16 rival Mineral Area College Feb. 1 in Park Hills, Mo. He also scored 20-plus points in four region games during the season: The Jan. 14 and Feb. 1 games against Mineral Area, the Jan. 25 game against State Fair Community College at Sedalia, Mo., and the Feb. 25 regular season finale against Moberly Area Community College of Moberly, Mo., at the West Plains Civic Center.
During his freshman season in 2009-10, he averaged 12 points and six rebounds during the regular season. He shot 58 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range. He also connected on 62 percent of his shots from the free throw line.
“Gage had a very good freshman year and earned all-region honors. He had to sit out last season and watch that team achieve at a high level, knowing full well that he would have been a major contributor and possibly the difference in a higher finish at the national tournament,” Walker said.
“I believe coaches are always proud of their All-Americans because of the positive notoriety they bring to the institution, but it’s much bigger than that in this case. Gage has been a special young man to coach,” Walker continued. “It will be a different feel next season not having him around. His intangibles will be extremely hard to replace. We were very fortunate to have Gage as a Grizzly.”
Wooten is the 14th Grizzly Basketball player to receive All-American honors and only the third two-time All-Region 16 honoree.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb.htm or call the Grizzly Basketball office at 417-255-7993.