by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
If the makeup of the NJCAA All-Region VI Division II basketball teams is any indication, there’s good things ahead for Kansas City Kansas Community College teams.
Kamryn Estell is the lone freshman selected to the women’s team while the men’s team has just three frosh, two of them Blue Devils – Deron McDaniel and Robert Rhodes. All three were named to the Region VI second teams and are expected to be the foundation for next season.
They join sophomore Jalen Davis, the only KCKCC first team selection, on the regional honor teams. All four were also selected to All-Jayhawk Conference teams along Brandon Burgette, the Coach of the Year in his first season as Blue Devil mentor.
The Jayhawk men’s champion for the first time in history, the Blue Devils also won the Region VI championship and a berth in the national tournament erased by the coronavirus.
A 6-4 guard out of Houston, Davis led the Blue Devils in scoring at 13.9 points a game. Ninth in the nation in free throw percentage (.851), Davis was also third in the conference in 3-point accuracy (.397) and fourth in scoring. Davis scored in double figures in 18 of 31 games including six contests with 24 points or more and highs of 28, 29, 30 and 31.
Rhodes, a 6-7 forward out of Cypress Springs, Texas, was named the Jayhawk Defender of the Year after leading the conference in rebounds (9.3) and blocked shots (2.2) and pacing the Blue Devils in steals (1.3). Fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.580), Rhodes had 10 double-doubles while averaging 8.2 points and 1.7 assists.
A 6-0 guard out of Next Level Prep, McDaniel led the Blue Devils in assists (3.3) and 3-point goals (68) and was fifth in the Jayhawk in scoring at 13.6 points a game. Scoring in double figures in 18 of 27 games including 9 of 10 conference games, McDaniel had nine games of 18 or more points with a high of 23.
Estell was named the Jayhawk Freshman of the Year. A 6-1 forward from Belton, Estell led the Blue Devils in scoring (15.0) and rebounds (7.2) despite being double and triple teamed throughout the season. The only Blue Devil in the starting lineup taller than 5-foot-7, she also led the Blue Devils in field goal accuracy (.560).
Co-runnerup to Labette in the women’s conference race, Highland placed three players on the all–sophomore first team –Armani Turner, Erin Randle and Tiana Gipson. Denisha Wilson of Labette and Johnson County’s Krystal Turner rounded out the first team while Labette’s Jessica Martino, Angel Williams and Diamond Jones and JCCC’s K.K. Jackson-Morris joined Estell on the second unit.
Highland’s Marquise Milton was the lone freshman on the men’s team. He was joined by teammate Rashon Johnson, JCCC’s JaQuaylon Mays and Lukas Milner and Davis on the first team while Kannon Jones and Craig Jordan of Fort Scott, Michael Flenory of Labette and Rhodes and McDaniel made up the second team.