(MSUB Athletics photo)

(MSU Billings release)

BILLINGS – The 2017-18 NCAA Division II West Region Player of the Year is also among the brightest students in the nation, as Montana State University Billings senior forward Alisha Breen was named an Academic All-American announced by the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America on Tuesday.

Breen helped the Yellowjackets (25-11) win their second NCAA Division II west region championship on Monday night, after being named the regional player of the year earlier Monday. She is the 2017-18 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year and GNAC Championships Most Valuable Player, and as of Tuesday ranks No. 10 in the NCAA with 21.3 points per game.

“This is an incredible honor for Alisha, which displays just how important she is to our program as a leader in all facets of life,” said MSUB head coach Kevin Woodin. “She is one of the best players I have ever coached, and to back that up with her academic level of excellence is something I am very proud of.”

Story continues below

Breen earned third-team Academic All-America honors, as she carries a 3.68 grade point average while completing her degree in health and human performance. The Choteau, Mont., native is a three-time academic all-conference selection, and was named CoSIDA Academic All-District earlier this season.

This is the second straight year that the Yellowjackets have had a CoSIDA Academic All-American, after 2016-17 senior Tiana Hanson claimed the award a season ago. “The Academic All-America award is very rare, and to have a player receive it two years in-a-row is phenomenal,” Woodin said. “Tiana set a great example for us last year and continues to do so as a member of our coaching staff this year, and it has been crucial to our team’s success to have people like her and Alisha in our program.”

Breen was one of two players from the GNAC to receive the honor, as Seattle Pacific University’s Jordan McPhee has a 3.98 GPA in business management and was named to the second team. For a complete listing of the 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-America teams, click here.

The GNAC’s all-time scoring leader with 1,976 points, is the fourth player in MSUB history to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American honors.