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Aggie Basketball nets 7 on SAC All-Academic

Dave Beyer, SID on 06/25/2019

Oklahoma City, Okla. – A total of seven Oklahoma Panhandle State University basketball players – four women and three men – have been honored on their respective Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Academic All-Conference teams, it was announced by the league office. To earn the SAC Academic All-Conference designation, student-athletes must be a sophomore, junior or senior in a SAC-sponsored sport, while posting a grade point average of 3.25 or better in 2018-19.

Recognized from the Aggies' women's basketball squad were the quartet of Taylor Acosta(El Paso, Texas), Kelsea Illengo (Oxnard, Calif.), Shambri Kelso (Goodwell, Okla.) and Addison Munsch (Boise City, Okla.). The trio of OPSU men's team members were Brandon Green(Waynoka, Okla.), Laimis Gruzdys (London, England) and Dillan Landers (Elgin, Okla.).

Acosta, Kelso and Munsch all graduate this past May. Acosta, a biological science major, came to the Aggies as a transfer by way of Del Valle High School and then McCook Community College, while Kelso – a health and physical education major - was a local product from Goodwell High School and graduated magna cum laude. Munsch, a biological science major, came to the Aggies from nearby Boise City, Okla., and graduated magna cum laude. Illengo, from Channel Island High School, was a junior and a criminal justice major this past season.

For both Munsch and Kelso, this was their third-consecutive academic all-conference recognition. Munsch was also selected to the 2018-19 SAC All-Conference third team, as well as All-OklahomaSports.net third team.

"I'm proud of these girls for taking care of business both on the court and in the class room," OPSU Head Women's Basketball Coach Victor Esparza said. "It is tough for our team at the beginning of the semester, as we are gone a lot. But these young ladies took care of business and accepted the challenge, and exceled in the classroom. They have bright futures ahead of them."

On the men's side, Green was recognized as academic all-conference for the third-consecutive season, as well, after coming to Panhandle State from Waynoka High School. Landers, a sophomore and a product of Elgin High School, earned his second-straight SAC academic all-conference award. Gruzdys, a sophomore as well, came to Goodwell from London, England.

Green, Gruzdys and Landers are all business administration majors.

"I think it says quite a bit about these individuals," Director of Athletics Meghan Mulcahy stated. "Basketball has a very long season, when you consider start of practice to finish of the season, and it spans both semesters. It takes a special discipline to be a student-athlete and, especially, to perform at a high level – both on the court and in the classroom - as these players have."