Men's College Basketball

College Hoops: Former Centennial star Lesure earns Academic All-America honors

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KJ Lesure

KJ Lesure, a former Centennial star, is a senior at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. 

AUSTIN, Texas – University of Arkansas at Monticello men's basketball standout KJ Lesure was named to first team Academic All-America honors for his outstanding efforts in the classroom and on the court, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Tuesday.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America honor is one of the most highly touted accolades a student-athlete can earn. 

To be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore academically, own a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30, have significant athletic credentials and be a first team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection. 

Lesure joins fellow Great American Conference member Kevin Buckingham of Southeastern Oklahoma State University as the only two honorees from the GAC.

The Indianapolis, Indiana native who prepped at Centennial High School in Franklin earns the honor after being a model citizen on and off the court at UAM. Academically, he carries a 4.00 GPA as an interdisciplinary studies major.

In 2019, he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Give Back Team. He was one of 10 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II and III and the NAIA, selected from a group of 63 nominated by college coaches and SID's across the country. The team recognizes those for their outstanding community service efforts. 

On the court, Lesure put together one of the best seasons/careers in UAM men's basketball history. He was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, a GAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete, a Bevo Francis Top 100 Player to Watch and a two-time All-GAC selection. He reached the 1,000-point plateau early this winter and also tied the single season record in UAM history for assists (180).

In 2019-20 Lesure was sixth in NCAA Division II in minutes per game (38.1) while also leading UAM on offense scoring 18.7 points per game and averaging 5.6 assists per game and shooting 43.0 percent from the field. He also shot 38.0 percent from downtown and 86.1 percent from the free-throw line. On defense, he was second on the team in steals per game with 1.8.

Lesure and UAM fell in the first round of the GAC tournament last week with a 89-83 overtime loss to Henderson State to end their season with a 19-13 mark.

Lesure led all scorers with 29 points in the contest. 

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