College Sports

Northwest Missouri’s Justin Pitts named NABC player of year

Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State University helped cut down the net after beating University of Central Missouri 69-61 in the MIAA Tournament Championship Game at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.
Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State University helped cut down the net after beating University of Central Missouri 69-61 in the MIAA Tournament Championship Game at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. jledford@kcstar.com

Northwest Missouri State guard Justin Pitts has been named Division II player of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Pitts, a 5-9 junior point guard who played at Blue Springs South High, is averaging 20.5 points, 5.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds and has helped the Bearcats to the Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D.

He scored 26 points in Northwest’s quarterfinal victory over St. Thomas Aquinas on Wednesday. The Bearcats will meet Lincoln Memorial in a semifinal game on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. The winner advances to Saturday’s championship game.

Pitts, who was named MIAA player of the year for the second time, also was the most outstanding player of the MIAA Tournament and NCAA Central Region Tournament.

Pitts will be presented with the NABC award at the Guardians of the Game Awards Show on April 2 in Phoenix, site of the Final Four.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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