(Editor's note: University of Montana media release)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Montana men's basketball team was recognized for its academic merit on Thursday, earning the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Team Academic Excellence Award for the third time in the past five seasons. NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA teams with cumulative grade-point averages of 3.0 or better for the 2019-20 season garnered the recognition.
Among the list of institutions recognized, Montana is one of four Big Sky Conference schools.
"We're proud that we've been able to receive this recognition several times now," head coach Travis DeCuire said. "It's something we don't take lightly and something we put a lot of attention into throughout the year."
The men's basketball program had four individual Academic All-Big Sky selections this spring, including three returners. The Grizzlies posted a 3.22 cumulative GPA in 2019-20, including a 3.38 mark during the spring term.
The fact that classes were moved online mid-semester makes this year's recognition even more special to the program.
"The people around us set our student-athletes up for success and allowed us to finish our semester strong," DeCuire said. "Our administration, professors and academic team did a phenomenal job. They were flexible and versatile, and really helped our student-athletes buckle down."
While DeCuire is proud of his team's strong marks in the classroom, even bigger he said, is the team's 100-percent graduation rate.
"Six years in, and every senior who has touched the floor for us has walked away with a diploma," he said. "That's very difficult to do in athletics, and I'm proud of the fact that we're creating productive men in society, on the court and off of it."