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On Dec. 3, Montreat’s Jeron Hemphill was named the men’s basketball Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Player of the Week. The senior forward from Morganton averaged 20.5 points and 15.5 rebounds during the prior week’s games against Bryan College and Johnson University (Tenn.) to earn the honor.

Against Bryan, Hemphill had 25 points while shooting 12-18 from the floor.

Last year as a junior, Hemphill received first team AAC all-conference, all-defensive team, and all-tournament recognition.

The Montreat team went 21-10 overall, their best mark since they went 22-10 in 2005-2006. The Cavs advanced to the second round of the AAC conference tournament before exiting the field in a two-point loss to Union College (Ky.).

Hemphill averaged 13.2 points a game while leading the team in rebounds (272) and assists (104) on the season.  

“Really excited for Jeron to receive this award. It’s a great honor for him and our program,” said Montreat’s fourth-year head coach, Garrett Jones. “The AAC has a lot of very talented players, so for Jeron to receive this award is a testament to his work ethic and drive to become the very best player he can be to help our program have success.”

The AAC includes 12 teams for men’s basketball and spans six states. Union was the 2016 NAIA Division II national champion, and the conference regularly has representation in the top-25 in the division. The Cavs currently hold the 25th spot in the first poll of the 2018 season released on Nov. 27.

Hemphill had two double-doubles to earn the award, and now has six through nine games on the year. He added six steals and a block to his season totals in the two games.

The senior led Montreat with a 14.1 scoring average and 84 rebounds as of last week. His 68.6 percent shooting percentage was tied for third best in the country.  

He followed up his player of the week recognition with 11 rebounds and 16 points in a key Montreat win over rival Milligan College (Tenn.) on Dec. 5 that moved the Cavs to 7-2.

They were scheduled to face Allen University (S.C.) before a road trip to face Hampen-Sydney this weekend.

The next home game for the Cavs is at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 1 when they host regional rival Brevard at McAlister Gym.   

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