Taylor Rohde captures 2011-12 MacKay UAA Athlete of the Year honor

by Jamie Gonzales  |   

Taylor Rohde, who led the Seawolf men's basketball team to one of the best seasons in program history, was named Sunday night as the 2011-12 winner of the University of Alaska Anchorage's Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year award at the athletic department's 28th annual end-of-year banquet at Lucy Cuddy Hall.

A 6'9," 255-pound center, Rohde became the first student-athlete in school history to gain National Player-of-the-Year honors when he earned the award from Division II Bulletin last month. The consensus All-American was also the Daktronics NCAA Division II West Region and Great Northwest Athletic Conference player-of-the-year and became the first Seawolf to play in the Reese's NCAA Division II All-Star Game. The Phoenix, Ariz. (Pinnacle High School) native led the GNAC in scoring (19.8), field-goal percentage (.627, 8th nationally) and double-doubles (9), and finished in a virtual three-way tie for the rebounding lead with 8.0 rpg.

Rohde was a double-figure scorer in 26 of 30 games this season and shot 50-plus percent from the floor in 25 of the last 26 contests, including an ending streak of 17. The two-year transfer from Arizona State tallied 12 games of at least 25 points, including four outings of 30-plus. Among his most impressive performances were a 28-point, 16-rebound effort in a Nov. 25 victory over Division I UC Irvine and his 32 points and 11 rebounds in UAA's NCAA Tournament First Round win over Montana State Billings.

As a team, the Seawolves finished 23-7 overall and 15-3 in the GNAC - just one game behind eventual national champion Western Washington. UAA was the No. 2 regional seed as the GNAC captured four of the eight NCAA Tournament berths in what has recently been the nation's most successful region at the national level.

Rohde quickly climbed UAA's all-time charts, reaching the 1,000-point mark in just 57 games and breaking the career record for field-goal percentage at .621. He also finished among the program leaders in scoring average (10th, 17.9 ppg), points (11th, 1,143), rebounds (t-11th, 463), rebounding averages (10th, 7.2 rpg), free throws made (4th, 291), free throws made per game (4th, 4.5), double-doubles (t-7th, 13) and games started (11th, 63).

In a rare coincidence, Rohde joins former volleyball star Calli Scott (2010) as the second Pinnacle High School product in the last three years to capture UAA's Athlete-of-the-Year honor.

The MacKay AOY award, sponsored by the Benton Bay Athletic Lions Club and UAA Athletics, is voted on by a committee of UAA Athletics staff, Benton Bay members and local media. The other 2012 nominees were Andreas Adde (men's skiing), Jaime Bronga (women's skiing), Micah Chelimo (men's cross country), Morgan Cook (gymnastics), Hanna Johansson (women's basketball), Ruth Keino (women's cross country), Haleigh Lloyd (women's track & field), Jackie Matthisen (volleyball), Jade Portwood (hockey) and David Registe (men's track & field).

For more information, visit GoSeawolves.com.

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