C.J. Hester Earns 3rd Academic All-America Honor


 Record-setting West Liberty University men’s basketball standout C.J. Hester has earned his third consecutive Academic All-America Award.

Hester, a 6-4 senior from West Mifflin, Pa., was the only 3-time honoree and one of only six players nationwide to repeat as Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-Americans when the 2014-15 Academic All-America Teams were announced on Wednesday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

After earning third-team Academic All-America honors each of the past two seasons, Hester was a second-team selection this year. He joins Metro State’s Mitch McCarron and Nicholas Kay, Christian Brothers’ Trey Casey, Southern Connecticut State’s Tylon Smith and Ian Vescovi of Pitt-Johnstown as multiple Academic All-America selections. Casey was chosen as the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-American of the Year.

To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. 

Hester has played a key role in keeping West Liberty at or near the top of the national polls throughout his four-year career while maintaining an impressive 3.71 grade-point average as a Biology major. He has already been accepted to the West Virginia University School of Dentistry and will continue his education there in the fall.

A four-year starter for Coach Jim Crutchfield’s four-time defending NCAA Division II Atlantic Region champions, Hester has scored in double-figures and led the Hilltoppers in rebounding all four years while becoming the first man in nearly 90 seasons of West Liberty basketball to surpass the 1,500-point and 1,000-rebound career milestones.

Despite missing several games due to injury earlier this season, Hester will set another school record duringSaturday’s regular-season finale at Wheeling Jesuit when he plays in his 129th career game. He’s blown away the school’s career rebounding mark with 1,102 rebounds and ranks No. 10 on the all-time scoring list with 1,773 points. In addition, Hester is on pace to become only the second Hilltopper to shoot better than 60 percent from the floor for his entire career.

Hester is the second-leading scorer on this year’s team at 15.2 ppg. and once again leads the Black and Gold in rebounding at 8.3 rpg. The second-leading rebounder in the entire MEC, he leads the conference – and ranks among the Top 20 nationally – in field-goal percentage (146-238, .615).

A model of consistency throughout his career, Hester has hit double-figures 92 times in his career. He also has 51 games with double-figure rebounds and 39 double-doubles. He set a school record by going 7-for-7 from the 3-point arc at Glenville State on Feb. 22, 2014 and set an ASRC arena record with 21 rebounds against Shepherd on Feb. 18, 2013.


NCAA Division II

Men’s Basketball


Name School Yr. Hometown GPA Major

Trey Casey* Christian Bros. Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio 4.00 Business Administration

Kyle Cooper Hillsdale Jr. Northville, Mich. 3.90 Accounting

Keegan Hyland Bentley Sr. South Portland, Maine 3.93 Economics/Finance

Nicholas Kay* Metro State Sr. Tamworth, Australia 3.81 Biology

Mitch McCarron* Metro State Sr. Brisbane, Australia 3.85 Sport Industry Operations


Name School Yr. Hometown GPA Major

C.J. Hester** West Liberty Sr. West Mifflin, Pa. 3.71 Biology

Darian Hooker New York Tech Gr. Washington, D.C. 3.49 Interdisciplinary Studies

Tylon Smith* S. Connecticut State Sr. Manchester, Conn. 3.68 Recreation & Leisure

Ben Stelzer Michigan Tech Sr. Manitowoc, Wis. 3.69 Finance

Ian Vescovi* Pitt-Johnstown Sr. Patton, Pa. 4.00 Mathematics/Computer


Name School Yr. Hometown GPA Major

Peter Alexis Philadelphia Jr. Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 3.64 Psychology

Ben Jacobs UNC-Pembroke Sr. Four Oaks, N.C. 3.98 Exercise & Sports Science

Myles Johnson Dallas Baptist So. Arlington, Texas 3.94 Finance

Garret Kerr Univ. of the Sciences Sr. Avalon, N.J. 3.39 Physical Therapy

Travis Thompson Alaska-Anchorage Sr. Anchorage, Alaska 3.47 Civil Engineering

   *-repeat honoree

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