Trofholz named NABC co-national BB player of the year

Trofholz named NABC co-national BB player of the year
Turner Trofholz, South Dakota's All-American forward, has accumulated plenty of firsts for the Coyote men's basketball program. But his selection as the NCAA Division II National Co-Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) likely tops the list.

Trofholz was selected with Darius Hargrove of Virginia Union as the NABC's top player in 2005-06 by vote of the NCAA Division II head coaches. Both Trofholz and Hargrove were selected first-team NABC All-Americans earlier in the week.

Trofholz and Hargrove were announced the NABC Co-Players of the Year during halftime of the Division II Championship game in Springfield, MA, last Saturday. Trofholz will officially receive his award at the 2006 Cingular Wireless/NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show at the Murat Theater in Indianapolis, IN, on Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. The ceremony, which will also include the Division I national players of the year, is part of the Final Four festivities.

Trofholz, who was named to the NABC All-American squad for the second straight season, also participated in the inaugural Division II men's All-Star game on Friday (March 24) in Springfield, MA. Trofholz reached double figures with 13 points while grabbing six rebounds. He hit 6-of-9 shots including a basket that gave the West team the lead (57-56) late in the first half that keyed the 134-122 win over the East Squad.

"Turner is very deserving of this National Player of the Year Award," said USD's head coach Dave Boots, who recruited Trofholz to the Coyote program. "First of all, he is the best post scorer I've ever coached," said Boots. "In addition, he has outstanding leadership qualities on and off the court. He is one of those individuals that everyone likes because of the respect he has for the game."

Trofholz, who was the Division II Bulletin's Preseason Player of the Year, ranks as one of the best-ever not only at South Dakota but in the North Central Conference. With his selection as national player of the year, he is the first Coyote to earn the honor and also the first men's player in NCC history to be named.

"I am humbled by this," said Trofholz. "This would not be possible without Coach Boots and the staff, my teammates and my family. They have been great mentors and supporters during my career at USD."

As a senior, Trofholz has averaged 21.8 points and 9.8 rebounds, which are combined totals that are unmatched this season in Division II. For the second straight season, Trofholz picked up the NCC MVP honors as he led USD to a 20-10 record and 7-5 in the NCC. Later, he was named the Daktronics North Central Region Player of the Year which was followed by that organization's first-team All-American honors. He also has been selected to the Basketball Times All-American team.

He is the first player in the history of Coyote basketball to accumulate 1,931 points and gather 917 rebounds. In addition, Trofholz has become the first player in school history to play on three straight NCAA Division II playoffs teams as he led USD to an 85-33 record during his career.

While his numbers on the court are impressive, Trofholz has excelled in the classroom. He carries nearly a 3.5 grade point average in health, physical education and recreation. Trofholz is a two-time Academic All-NCC selection and twice has received the ESPN Magazine/CoSida Academic All-American District VII honor.

Trofholz credits his older brother Tyler for teaching him some important basketball principles.

"He used to beat me up on the court pretty good. Tyler was a great shooter but he would pick my pocket. So, I had to learn how to play with my back to the basket," said Trofholz.

He also learned a lot about the game from his father, a basketball coach. "He taught me the importance of working hard and keeping a perspective about the game."

His parents, Dana and Tracy have been rocks of support to Trofholz, as has his sister Brandi, a former track and field standout at Nebraska, his brother and grandmother.

"They have been my support team," said Trofholz. "I can never thank them enough for what they have meant to me," he said.

As he reflects on his career, Trofholz is mindful of all the things that he has received from his family, coaches and teammates. "I wouldn't change a thing," said Trofholz. "I have had a tremendous experience at USD. I have learned a lot. Most of all, I have had a chance to meet a lot of great people. For that I am especially thankful."

Trofholz has designs on some type of professional basketball career and admits it is likely that he will go overseas. Still, he is itching to get a shot at an NBA training camp.

Yet, when his playing days are over, Trofholz will take his wares to his father's profession � coaching. "That is what I want to do someday and I hope that I can do it as well as he has during his career."

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