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.
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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ANOTHER FINE DAY FOR THE KCC MEN’s Soccer program! Congratulations to Jacob McCleary on being selected as a member of the All-Illinois Academic Team, a special recognition based on outstanding academic performance and service to the college and community. One honoree is Jacob McCleary of Bourbonnais, who will receive an Associate in Science transfer degree. He will attend the University of Illinois at Chicago.