Kansas City, Mo. – The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced on Thursday that former USC Upstate men’s basketball guard Mario Blessing has been selected to the 2014-15 NABC Honors Court.
The NABC Honors Court recognizes those men’s collegiate basketball student-athletes who excelled in academics during the past season, with a record number of 1,000 student-athletes from more than 350 colleges and universities. The NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents and gifts that these men possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom.
In order to be named to the Honors Court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The student-athlete must be a junior or senior and a varsity player, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher at the conclusions of the 2014-15 academic year, have matriculated at least one year at their current institution and be a member of an NCAA Division I, II, III, or NAIA Division I or II institution with an NABC member coach.
Blessing finished his career at Upstate with a 3.79 grade point average and graduated in May with a degree in economics. In addition, he became the first USC Upstate student-athlete in school history to be named the A-Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year when he earned the distinction as a senior in 2015. Blessing is also only the second player in school history to be selected to the A-Sun Academic All-Conference Team for four consecutive seasons.
On the court, Blessing finished the 2014-15 season ranked second in the A-Sun with a 2.5 assist/turnover ratio and never had more than three turnovers in any game this season. He also ranked 11th in the league with 2.6 assists per game and 16th with 1.0 steals per game.
Blessing was a part of 80 career victories during his four years at Upstate and left the program as the all-time winningest player in school history during the Division I era. The Kusterdingen, Germany, native was a part of two teams that reached the A-Sun Tournament semifinals, one team that advanced to the A-Sun Tournament final and three teams that played in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Blessing also played an instrumental role in helping Upstate post a school record for the most wins in a season during the Division I era when the Spartans registered 24 victories a season ago.