Two teams and 23 individual athletes from Kankakee Community College have been awarded NJCAA honors for academic achievement during the 2020-21 school year. The awards were formerly called Academic All-American.
The women’s volleyball and men’s soccer teams were named 2021 NJCAA All-Academic Teams for having team GPAs above 3.0. The women’s volleyball team had an overall team GPA of 3.32 and the men’s soccer team GPA was 3.17.
The All-Academic First Team members, with a 4.0 grade point average, are:
Kankakee Community College police officer Vernal Turner does a lot of walking around the college. In his second job, he runs the sidelines as a basketball official.
In spring 2021, Turner will be inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame for his work as an official. For 17 years, Turner has been an Illinois High School Association official.
He currently officiates for the Northern Athletic Conference, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. For eight seasons, Turner has been an official at NBA training camps for the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls. In 2019, he became a court side administrator, working for the NBA.
Among the noteworthy high school games he has officiated are seven Chicago city championships; three IHSA boys basketball championships (3-A in 2013, 4-A in 2014, and 3-A and 4-A in 2019); and the McDonald’s All-American game in 2016. He will be the first person to have played in IBCA All-Star Game (1981), officiate the IBCA All-Star Game (2016), and be inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame.
In all, there will be more than 100 new IBCA Hall of Fame members, including nine officials. Due to COVID-19, the IBCA has not finalized its plans for an induction ceremony.
Turner also is president of Top Notch Officiating Camp for Officials Training and Development. In 2019 and 2020, he organized the Top Notch Health Awareness Challenge at KCC. The event pitted Kankakee-area high school basketball teams playing teams from Chicago. Each team also participated in health awareness sessions.
At KCC, Turner has been a part-time police officer since 2015.
Twenty-three Kankakee Community College student-athletes have received NJCAA honors for academic achievements during the 2019-20 school year.
The All-Academic First Team members, with a 4.0 grade point average, are: Leighann Allison of Kankakee, volleyball; Mallory Drake of Watseka, women’s basketball; Paige Glass of Kankakee, softball; Anna Jennings of Cissna Park, volleyball; Kloe Longtin of Herscher, volleyball; and Lanie Malone of Manteno, softball.
The All-Academic Second Team members, with grade point averages between 3.80-3.99, are: Makenna Goldtrap of Chebanse, softball; Eddie Saner of Springfield, baseball; and Julian Stadeli of Cissna Park, men’s basketball.
The All-Academic Third Team members, with grade point averages of 3.60-3.79, are: Madison Allen of Bushnell, women’s basketball; Owen Behrens of Prophetstown, baseball; Sloan Boyce of Cissna Park (pictured), volleyball; Sierra Cureton of Manteno, volleyball; Andrew Douglas of Watseka (pictured), men’s soccer; Ashley Harwood of Kankakee, volleyball; Isabelle Hille of Fort Wayne, Ind., women’s basketball; Michael Machnic of Walkerton, Ind., baseball; Michael Moshkovitz of Jerusalem, Israel, men’s basketball; Andrew Saliba of Peotone, men’s soccer; Emma Schriner of Bourbonnais (pictured), softball; Clayton Thompson of Schererville, Ind., baseball; Peyton Williams of Lafayette, Ind., baseball; and Kierra Williamson of Hazel Crest, women’s basketball.
Sophomore Guard Jonte Coleman breaks the Kankakee Community College record of all-time three pointers made during a season.
Coleman surpassed Bobby Dixon, who is currently in his 14th season playing professional basketball overseas. During the 2003-2004 season Bobby set the record of 110 three pointers. On February 20th, Jonte made 5 three pointers during the game to put him at a total of 111 made on the season and still counting.
Coleman is currently averaging 14.1ppg, 5rpg, and 1.5 apg while helping lead the Cavaliers to a regular season record of 20-10.
Congratulations to our Academic All Americans. These athletes received a 3.60 or higher GPA.
Soccer 2017-2018 Bobby Cooper 3.84 2017-2018 Connor Blanchette 3.85 2017-2018 Santiago Mena 3.91 2017-2018 Nicolas Mena 3.91 2017-2018 Jacob McCleary 4 2018 Andrew Newsome 3.63 2018 Dawson Swearengen 3.77 *Freshman
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Coach Alex Thorson is excited to welcome the first five members of the 2018 recruiting class. These players are Brian Hernandez, Pierce Coleman, Jonte Coleman, Jacob Collins, and Corez Anderson.
When asked what type of players he is trying to bring in he said, “The guys that we are bringing in know how to win, have won, and are going to help us win. But the most important thing is that I want players who not only want to excel on the basketball floor, but in life as well. We are building something special here at KCC, and it is going to start with these student/athletes who excel academically, socially, and athletically.”
Brian Hernandez (Orr High School) is the most recent signee for the Cavaliers. Brian will play the combo guard for the Cavaliers next season after finishing an amazing career at Orr. He helped lead his team to back-to-back state championships in class 2A as well as an overall record of 30-4 for the 2017-2018 season. Hernandez will bring great leadership with his willingness to communicate and push others to be better on a daily basis. The lefty shooter is one of the top shooters in the state of Illinois, and will also be a huge force on the defensive end next season for the Cavs.
Pierce Coleman (North Chicago High School) is another recent signee for the Cavaliers. Pierce will be able to play the one through the three position next season which will make him a force to be reckoned with standing at 6’4”. He helped lead his team this season to a 4th place finish in state for class 3A as well as 22-10 overall record for the 2017-2018 season. Coleman averaged 12.3 PPG, 6 RPG, 6.4 APG, as well as 2 SPG. Pierce will bring a very high basketball IQ with him to Kankakee next season. He has shown a great ability to score the basketball at all three levels as well as do the intangibles of rebounding and making the extra pass.
Jonte Coleman (Champaign Central High School) recently put pen to paper to join the Cavaliers team next season. Jonte is an amazing three point shooter as he will play the shooting guard position for the Cavs next season. Standing at 6’3” he will bring size to that position which will be much needed on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Coleman had a break out senior season for Champaign Central, and helped lead them to an overall record of 20-9. He has shown the ability to shoot the basketball, and towards the later part of his senior season showcased the ability that he is more than just a shooter. The Cavaliers are excited to showcase this ability more in the seasons to come.
Jacob Collins (Indiana Elite Preparatory Academy) was the first player to sign under new Head Coach Alex Thorson for this upcoming 2018 season. Jacob is a 6’2” shooting guard who has continued to progress year after year. Collins has showcased his ability to cause problems for opposing team’s players because of his tenacious defense. His length and quickness are his two biggest attributes, and they are going to be on full display next season. Jacob took a prep year after high school and averaged 15 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 5.4 APG, and 3.2 SPG.
Corez Anderson (Urbana High School) recently signed to join the Cavaliers next season. Corez is a 6’0” point guard who has a tremendous ability to score the basketball. He has the ability to hit the three as well as be able to score at the basket in traffic. His length will give a lot of teams trouble as well on the defensive end. The Cavaliers are excited to welcome Corez as a part of the 2018 recruiting class.
Coach Thorson and Coach Neaville are excited to welcome all of the newest signees to the 2018 recruiting class for the Kankakee Community College Men’s Basketball Team. These players are not only going to succeed in basketball, but in every aspect of life as well.