March 9, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's senior Ahmad Nivins has been named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, in voting conducted by the league's coaches. He becomes the third SJU player in the last six years to win the award, and the fourth overall.
Nivins was named to the All-Conference First Team for the second time in his career. He was also named to the All-Defensive Team along with SJU junior Garrett Williamson.
The 6-9 forward from Jersey City, N.J., was a dominant force this year. At the end of the regular season, he was tied for the scoring lead with Dionte Christmas of Temple, with his average of 19.2 points per game. Nivins also leads the conference in rebounding (11.7), field goal percentage (.625), minutes played (39.4), offensive rebounds (3.9) and defensive rebounds (7.7). He leads the Hawks in free throw percentage (.789) and has made more free throws (191) than another player in the league has attempted.
Nivins put together a streak of 41 consecutive double-figure scoring games and has recorded a league-best 20 double-doubles this season. His high game was 34 points against Duquesne and a 28-point, 20-rebound effort in the triple overtime win over Rhode Island.
Now with 1,752 points, Nivins will finish his career as the third all-time leading scorer in school history. He has 927 rebounds and currently ranks sixth all-time.
Williamson, a 6-5 guard from Lower Merion, Pa., is regarded as the Hawks' top perimeter defender. He registered 1.4 steals per game and ranks 10th in the league, while leading Saint Joseph's in assists with 4.5 per game. This is his first conference honor.
Nivins received an Atlantic 10 honor in every year of his career. He was an All-Rookie selection as a freshman, was an All-Conference first-team selection as a sophomore, and earned third-team honors in 2008.
Saint Joseph's (16-14; 9-7 A-10) is the fifth seed in this week's Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Hawks will faced 12th-seeded Charlotte (5-11; 11-19) on Wednesday, March 11 at 2:30 p.m. at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. If SJU wins, it will play Temple on Thursday in the quarterfinals, also at 2:30.