UVU basketball: Hunsaker and Aird named to All-GWC first team

By Clint Burgi

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, March 13 2013 9:47 p.m. MDT

CHICAGO — Juniors Ben Aird and Holton Hunsaker were named to the All-Great West Conference first team, while Nick Thompson and Jason Johnson received honorable mention. The league announced the honors at a banquet on the eve of the start of the 2013 Great West Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournament at Chicago State University.

Aird and Hunsaker are repeat All-Conference selections after both were named to the league’s second team as sophomores. Aird is the league’s second-leading scorer with 15.0 points per game while leading the conference in rebounding (9.0), field goal percentage (.573) and blocks (1.9).

Hunsaker is the top free-throw shooter in the conference and is averaging 13.3 points per game. His career-high 37-point output earlier this season at Chattanooga ranks as the Great West’s top scoring performance of the season. A 3.91 student, Hunsaker was also named to the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District Team.

“It’s nice to have Ben and Holton recognized for their play. There are a lot of outstanding players in the Great West that too, are deserving,” head coach Dick Hunsaker said. “They both work hard and have a lot of respect for the game and the effort it takes to be successful.”

Thompson received honorable mention All-Conference and also was an All-Newcomer Team selection. Thompson, a senior, is averaging 9.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and a Great West high 4.2 assists per game in his first and only season at UVU. Johnson, a junior in his first season with Utah Valley, has upped his average to 9.0 points per game including a career-high 24 in the GWC regular-season finale against Chicago State.

“Nick has worked hard to make the most of his year with the Wolverines and Jason is really starting to get more comfortable,” Hunsaker said.

Utah Valley opens the 2013 GWC Tournament on Thursday at 5 p.m. CT/4 p.m. MT against Houston Baptist University.

Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.

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