Rio Grande’s Blevins named honorable mention All-American


By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing



KANSAS CITY, Mo. – University of Rio Grande sophomore Shiloah Blevins has been named as an honorable mention selection to the 2020-21 NAIA Men’s Basketball All-America Team.

The list was released Thursday afternoon by the national office.

Blevins, a 6-foot-5 forward from South Webster, Ohio, helped the RedStorm to a 16-10 finish and its first national tournament appearance since 2003.

Blevins earned River States Conference Player of the Year honors after averaging 17.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game for head coach Ryan Arrowood’s squad. He also shot 50.5 percent from the field, 83.1 percent from the free throw line and recorded four double-doubles over the course of the season.

Blevins ranked second in the RSC in blocks per game, third in free throw percentage, fifth in scoring average, six in field goal percentage and 12th in rebounds per game.

Three teams of 10 players each comprised the first-, second- and third-teams, along with the 42 player honorable mention list. National champion Shawnee State, national runner-up Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), LSU Shreveport (La.) and Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas) led the group with two selections each. LSU Alexandria (La.) and Central Baptist (Ark.) led the way with two honorable mention selections.

Kyle Mangas of Indiana Wesleyan leads the group of honorees and was named the NAIA National Player of the Year. It is Mangas’ second consecutive season earning the honor after being named the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Player of the Year a season ago.

Mangas, in addition to earning his second national player of the year honor, has now been named an NAIA First Team All-America selection for the fourth consecutive time. He finished his season as the leader in the NAIA in points per game with 29.52 and total scoring with 974 points in 2020-21.

As a whole, 12 players moved from the honorable mention a season ago to one of the three All-America teams. Kadavion Evans of LSU Shreveport and EJ Onu of Shawnee State both made the biggest jumps in that category into the first team selections in 2021. Damek Mitchell of Lewis-Clark State and Kevion Blaylock of William Penn (Iowa) jumped from third team selections in 2020 into the first team this season.

Delano Thomas of Shawnee State (Ohio) was named the NAIA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year after guiding his team to its first red banner on Tuesday night. In just his fourth season at the helm, Thomas led his squad to a 31-2 mark and a No. 6 ranking in the final Top 25 poll.

Prior to the national championship, Austin Johnson of Lewis-Clark State was named the NABC-NAIA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year after guiding the Warriors to the title game in 2021. This is Johnson’s second consecutive NABC-NAIA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year honor.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.