Note: This is the second of four major FSU Athletics Awards that will be presented between now and Friday for the 2017-18 campaign.
Big Rapids, Mich. - One of the all-time winningest seniors in school history who led the Bulldog men's basketball squad to the school's first national championship as been tabbed as the recipient of Ferris State University Athletics' prestigious Willie Bouyer Leadership Award for the 2017-18 campaign as standout forward Noah King (Detroit/Jesuit) earned this year's distinction.
King played a lead role as one of the squad's team captains and finished his career with a school-record 113 total victories as a four-year letterwinner and starter for the Bulldogs.
The Willie Bouyer Leadership Award, which is regarded as one of the most prestigious of the FSU Athletics Department's four annual major honors, is named in memory of Ferris State's first All-America football student-athlete Willie Bouyer. Bouyer was tragically killed in his hometown of Detroit in 1977. The recipient is chosen by a FSU Athletics Department committee.
Candidates for the award are judged on their strong inspirational leadership and dedication to fellow Ferris State student-athletes. The nominees also should be involved outside of athletics in other college and community activities along with participating on a varsity athletics team for at least two years. The Willie Bouyer Leadership Award was reinstated upon the conclusion of the 2002-03 season following a seven-year absence.
"Noah King has been an outstanding leader and ambassador for Ferris State Basketball for the past four years and played a huge role in leading our team to a national championship this season," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "He's a terrific young man who departs as one of the all-time winningest players in school history and led his team to unprecedented championship success.
"As a team captain, he has set a wonderful example for younger players both on and off the floor," he added. "He is a great choice as the recipient of this leadership award that bears the name of the late Willie Bouyer."
As a senior this past season, King earned All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) accolades for the first time in his collegiate career. He closed his career ranked second all-time in career three-pointers made (227) and is also listed among the school's top all-time leaders in career free throw percentage (.788) and blocked shots (53).
This year, King knocked down a team-leading 98 three's in his final campaign, which ranks second on FSU's all-time single season leaders list. Along with fellow senior captain Drew Cushingberry, King set records for the most wins (113), most games played (138), most GLIAC Tournament victories (12), most NCAA Tournament wins (12) and most games played in the national tournament (12).
Along with earning All-GLIAC First Team laurels, King also was named to the NCAA Midwest Region All-Tournament Team along with the GLIAC All-Tournament Team this year. He garnered GLIAC Player of the Week honors and was featured on the NCAA.com Plays of the Week list following his buzzer-beating three-pointer on the road at Michigan Tech. He closed his career as a 1,000-point scorer and was also highly-active as a leader in the team's various community service initiatives throughout the year.
"Noah closed his career as the best leader on perhaps the best team in the history of Ferris State Athletics," said FSU head coach and National Coach of the Year Andy Bronkema. "Even if he was struggling shooting the basketball, which didn't happen often, he still found a way to inspire his teammates. He was a fan favorite and the ultimate team competitor who made everyone around him a better player and person."
In addition to winning the national championship this year, King helped the Bulldogs to four-straight GLIAC Tournament Championships, back-to-back GLIAC regular season titles and the Midwest Regional championship this year. The Bulldogs' 38 wins in 2017-18 tied for the most all-time in NCAA Division II basketball and FSU became only the fifth team in the history of college basketball at any NCAA level to wins 38 games in a campaign. FSU closed the year with a school all-time best 26 consecutive wins and a school-record 28-straight home court victories. Ferris State won 20 games or more in each of King's four seasons on the floor.
King is the fifth men's basketball student-athlete in school history to receive the Willie Bouyer Leadership Award, following in the footsteps of previous honorees including Kurt Stevens (1985-86), Jeffrey Shanahan (2005-06), Matt DeHart (2010-11) and Drew Lehman (2014-15).
The other 2017-18 finalists for the Willie Bouyer Leadership Award included strong leaders and representatives such as Drew Cushingberry (Men's Basketball), Jake Daugherty (Football), Carley Dubbert (Women's Soccer), Hannah Evo (Women's Basketball) and Andrew Mayer (Hockey).
Willie Bouyer Leadership Award Recipients
2017-18 - Noah King (Men's Basketball)
2016-17 - Anthony Darkangelo (Football) and Jenna Way (Volleyball)
2015-16 - Alexis Huntey (Volleyball/Women's Basketball)
2014-15 - Drew Lehman (Men's Basketball)
2013-14 – Simon Denis (Men's Ice Hockey)
2012-13 – Samantha Fordyce (Volleyball)
2011-12 – Ashley Huntey (Volleyball)
2010-11 – Matt DeHart (Men's Basketball)
2009-10 – Casey Haines (Men's Ice Hockey) and Kurt Valley (Men's Golf)
2008-09 – Holly Bruntjens (Softball)
2007-08 – Raquel Hansen (Women's Golf) and Katie Kraai (Softball)
2006-07 – Danielle Baucher (Women's Volleyball) and Raquel Hansen (Women's Golf)
2005-06 – Brittny Godlewski (Women's Volleyball) and Jeffrey Shanahan (Men's Basketball)
2004-05 – Brittny Godlewski (Women's Volleyball) and Navreet Gill (Softball)
2003-04 – Melissa Worsley (Softball) and Derrick McIver (Men's Ice Hockey)
2002-03 – Steve Picucci (Mens' Cross Country and Men's Track & Field)
1995-96 – Benny Roe (Football)
1994-95 – Tim Christian (Men's Ice Hockey)
1993-94 – Jere Getzinger (Wrestling and Football)
1992-93 – Dave Morin (Baseball)
1991-92 – Erica Thomas (Women's Basketball)
1990-91 – Mark Kamppinen (Baseball)
1989-90 – Doug Mooney (Wrestling) and Jody Johnson (Softball)
1988-89 – Jim Beson (Football and Wrestling)
1987-88 – Sam Sweet (Men's Track and Field)
1986-87 – Paul Surmont (Cheerleading – Bulldog Mascot)
1985-86 – Kurt Stevens (Men's Basketball)
1984-85 – Steve Piotraczk (Football), Katy Kelley (Women's Basketball)
1980-81 – Fred Kirkland (Football and Men's Track & Field)