Virginia Union dominates CIAA Basketball Awards

CHARLOTTE, NC — There are 12 teams in the CIAA, but it would be easy to think Virginia Union was the only one after Monday’s awards ceremony in Charlotte. The Panthers’ men’s and women’s basketball teams took home five awards.

Senior forward Lady Walker was named the CIAA Women’s Player of the Year as well as the Defensive Player of the Year. Head Coach AnnMarie Gilbert was named Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year.

Senior guard Ray Anderson was named CIAA Men’s Player of the year. Head Coach Lester “Jay” Butler won the Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year Award.

The following is additional information directly from Virginia Union:

Walker:

Virginia Union University’s Lady Walker became the first women’s basketball player to be named the CIAA Player of the Year and CIAA Defensive Player of the Year in the same season since 2008, the CIAA announced at the 2017 Tournament Tip-Off Luncheon, held on Monday, February 20, in Charlotte, N.C.

Walker, a 6-2 senior from Cleveland, Oh., averaged in double-figures in both scoring and rebounding, scoring 14.4 points per game and 11.5 rebounds, for the Lady Panthers this past season.

Walker became the first women’s basketball player since Celeste Trahan of Elizabeth City State University to be both the CIAA Player of the Year and CIAA Defensive Player of the Year.

Walker also averaged 1.3 steals and 1.9 blocks per game this season.

She also became only the second Lady Panther to collect 1,000 rebounds and score 1,000 points in a career this season.

Gilbert:

Virginia Union University’s Head Women’s Basketball Coach, AnnMarie Gilbert, has been named the CIAA Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, the CIAA announced at the 2017 CIAA Tournament Tip-Off Luncheon, held on Monday, February 20, in Charlotte, N.C.

This is the second straight year that Gilbert has been named the CIAA Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year.

It also marked the first time that a single school has captured both the men’s and women’s Coach of the Year Award since Norfolk State University did it in 1985. VUU’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Jay Butler, also won the men’s Coach of the Year award.

Gilbert guided the Lady Panthers to a 22-3 record overall and a share of the championship in the CIAA Northern Division. VUU has been ranked as high as #2 in the nation this past season.

Gilbert also notched her 200th career coaching win this past season.

The Lady Panthers will begin play in the 2017 CIAA Tournament on at 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22, in Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C.

Anderson:

Virginia Union University’s Ray Anderson was named the CIAA Player of the Year at the 2017 CIAA Tournament Tip-Off Luncheon, held on Monday, February 20, in Charlotte, N.C.

Anderson, a 6-3 senior guard from Wilmington, Del., became the first VUU player to become the CIAA Player of the Year since Darius Hargrove in 2006.

Anderson averaged 17.9 points per game this season for the Panthers and has scored 1,862 points in his four-year career.

Virginia Union begins play in the 2017 CIAA Tournament at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.

Butler:

Virginia Union University’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jay Butler has been named the CIAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year, the CIAA announced at the 2017 CIAA Tournament Tip-Off Luncheon, held on Monday, February 20, in Charlotte, N.C.

Butler guided the Panthers to a 22-6 overall record and coached VUU to it’s first CIAA Northern Division Title since 2008.

Butler, in his second season as the head of the men’s Panther basketball program, became the first VUU coach to be men’s coach of the year since Dave Robbins in 2007.

Butler, along with VUU’s Head Women’s Basketball Coach AnnMarie Gilbert being named the CIAA Women’s Coach of the Year, marked the first time one school had both the men’s and women’s coaches of the year since Norfolk State University in 1985.