McDowell and Payne earn Louisiana Small College honors
May 10, 2006
32nd Annual Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Awards Banquet BATON ROUGE --- Three former Louisiana college basketball stars were the major honorees tonight at the 32nd Annual Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Awards Banquet held in Baton Rouge. Inducted into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame were Jerald Honeycutt of Tulane, Gerard King of Nicholls St. and Larry Wright of Grambling St. The other major honoree was former UL-Monroe coach Mike Vining, who won the LABC’s prestigious Mr. Louisiana Basketball award. This award is given annually to someone who has made a significant, long-term contribution to the game of basketball at any level in the State of Louisiana. Also recognized at the banquet were Louisiana’s major college, small college, junior college and high school basketball players and coaches of the year, along with the top pro player from the state.
Honeycutt, a versatile 6-8 forward, earned All-American honors as a senior at Tulane in 1997 and was a two-time Louisiana Player of the Year. He finished his career as the leading scorer and fifth leading rebounder in Tulane history, with 2,209 points for a 17.7 average and 870 rebounds for a 7.0 average. He also had 193 three-pointers (first all-time at Tulane), 419 assists (first), 235 steals (second) and 163 blocked shots (third). Honeycutt led Tulane to one of the most successful four-year periods in school history, which included three straight 20-win seasons, four postseason tournament appearances and a third place finish in the 1996 NIT.
The 6-9 King was a first team All-Southland Conference and NABC All-District selection in 1995, while leading Nicholls St. to the SLC championship and a NCAA Tournament berth with a 17-1 conference record and 24-6 overall record. King finished his career as the fourth leading scorer and sixth leading rebounder in Nicholls St. history, with 1,834 points for a 16.7 average and 786 rebounds for a 7.1 average. He averaged 21.6 points and 7.8 rebounds as a senior, and 18.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as a junior. As a professional player, he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs 1999 NBA championship team.
Wright was a two-time small college All-American and the Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 1976. He finished his three-year career with 2,042 points for a 23.7 average, including season averages of 25.3 points, 26.7 points and 18.9 points. Wright led Grambling St. to the SWAC Tournament championship and a NCAA Division II Tournament berth in 1976. He was the 14th player selected in the first round of the 1976 NBA Draft and won the NBA title in 1978 as a member of the Washington Bullets.
Vining retired from UL-Monroe in 2005 as the winningest coach in UL-Monroe and Southland Conference history, with 401 wins (4th most in state history) and a 57.0% career winning percentage. Over 24 seasons, he led UL-Monroe to seven conference championships, seven NCAA Division I tournaments and one NIT appearance. He was a four-time SLC Coach of the Year and two-time Louisiana Coach of the Year. Prior to UL-Monroe, Vining coached Bastrop High for seven seasons, leading the school to a 175-47 record, six state playoff appearances and one state Class 4A championship. His 1975 championship team (led by future UL-Monroe and NBA star Calvin Natt) finished the season with a 35-1 record, earning Vining state Class 4A Coach of the Year honors.
The LABC also presented the Pete Maravich Memorial Award, honoring Louisiana’s Major College Player of the Year, to LSU sophomore forward Glen Davis. This season he was a second All-American and the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year. He led the SEC in scoring (18.6) and rebounding (9.7), while leading LSU to the SEC championship and the NCAA Final Four with a 27-9 record.
Coach John Brady of LSU was presented the Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Award as Louisiana’s Major College Coach of the Year. This year he led LSU to the third most wins in school history, a 27-9 overall record, the Southeastern Conference championship and the NCAA Final Four. He was also named the SEC Coach of the Year and the USBWA District Coach of the Year.
The Bob Pettit Award, which is given to Louisiana's Professional Player of the Year, was presented to eight-time winner Shaquille O'Neal. This year the former LSU All-American and 13-year NBA veteran averaged 20.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.76 blocked shots, and shot a league high 60.0% from the field in leading the Miami Heat to the Southeast Division title with a 52-30 record. He was also a starter in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game.
Fredericko Payne, 5-11 senior guard from LSU-Shreveport, received his third straight Louisiana Small College Player of the Year award. He was a first team NAIA All-American and averaged 20.5 points, 3.75 three-point field goals made and 2.0 steals.
His coach, Chad McDowell, was also named the Louisiana Small College Coach of the Year for the third straight year, after directing the Pilots to the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference championship and a No. 2 ranking in the final regular season NAIA national poll with a 28-4 record (the most wins in school history).
LaFrance Cooper of Southern-Shreveport and Louis Bonner of Bossier Parish were honored as the Louisiana Junior College Player and Coach of the Year, respectively. Cooper, a 6-4 sophomore forward, averaged 19.8 points and 10.6 rebounds in leading Southern-Shreveport to a 24-6 record. Bonner led Bossier Parish to the Louisiana Athletic Association of Community Colleges championship and the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament with an 18-11 record.
2006 LABC Award Winners: Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Inductees: Jerald Honeycutt, Tulane; Gerard King, Nicholls St.; Larry Wright, Grambling St. Mr. Louisiana Basketball: Mike Vining, UL-Monroe Bob Pettit Award for the Louisiana Professional Player of the Year: Shaquille O’Neal, Miami Heat Pete Maravich Memorial Award for the Louisiana Major College Player of the Year: Glen Davis, LSU Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Award for the Louisiana Major College Coach of the Year: John Brady, LSU Louisiana Small College Player of the Year: Fredericko Payne, LSU-Shreveport Louisiana Small College Coach of the Year: Chad McDowell, LSU-Shreveport Louisiana Junior College Player of the Year: LaFrance Cooper, Southern-Shreveport Louisiana Junior College Coach of the Year: Louis Bonner, Bossier Parish Louisiana High School Players of the Year:
Class AAAAA: Brian Singleton, Hahnville
Class AAAA: Rodney Jones, Peabody
Class AAA: Damon Jones, Winnfield
Class AA: Keith Williams, Madison
Class A: Elijah Millsap, Grambling
Class B: Larry Collier, Florien
Class C: Demond Carter, Reserve Christian Louisiana High School
Coaches of the Year:
Class AAAAA: Trenton Smith, Natchitoches Central
Class AAAA: Casey Jones, Ouachita
Class AAA: Louis Handy, Rayne
Class AA: Errol Gauff, St. Thomas Aquinas
Class A: Todd Foster, Christian Life
Class B: Bradley McLaren, Zwolle
Class C: Timmy Byrd, Reserve Christian