MACON, Ga.- For the second consecutive year, Mercer basketball forward Will Emerson has been named to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-America first team, one day after being named to the Atlantic Sun Academic All-Conference first team.
Last season, Emerson became the first men's Division I college basketball player from the state of Georgia named to an academic all-America team since Georgia Tech's Matt Harpring in 1998, according to the NCAA.
ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-America first team, consisting of five players, is the premiere academic all-America team in the United States
Emerson, a biology major from St. Mary's Ga., was one of only three players named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America teams with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Emerson is also the only player from Georgia in the University Division, and one of only two from the Southeast, along with second-team member Lee Humphrey of Florida, to be given the honor this year.
"It's quite an honor to earn the award back-to-back," said Mercer head coach Mark Slonaker. "We are very excited and extremely proud of how Will represents Mercer, both on and off the court."
A four-time Atlantic Sun Academic All-Conference honoree, Emerson has started every game for the Bears this season and leads the team in rebounding, averaging 6.9 rebounds, and is second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.8 points per game. Emerson has scored in double figures in 20 of 27 games and recorded seven double-doubles.
Emerson ranked 27th in the Atlantic Sun in scoring and ninth in rebounding at the conclusion of the regular season. This is the fourth consecutive season that Emerson and the Bears have played in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament.
"Will is an outstanding student," said Mercer Athletics Director Bobby Pope. "If you're looking for the ideal student-athlete, it would be him. He's the total package."
Not only is Emerson a standout in the classroom and on the basketball court, he's also very active in the community. A volunteer with the Dolphin Swim Program for disabled children and with His Able Hands Respite Care Program, Emerson has helped Boy Scouts earn chemistry merit badges.
The other four players chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America to be named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America University Division first team are: Johannes Herber of West Virginia University; Dan Grunfeld of Stanford University; Chris Quinn of Notre Dame; and Kibwe Trim of Sacred Heart University.