Emmanuel Ring is more than the leading rookie on a team full of them. He’s also the top first-year player in all of Atlantic University Sport men’s basketball.
The six-foot-six player from St. John’s was named AUS rookie of the year Wednesday as the conference handed out its annual awards for 2018-19.
Ring, one of five rookies on the Sea-Hawks, started all 20 of Memorial’s regular-season games, finishing third in the AUS in points (15.8 per game), second in blocks (1.4), and fifth in rebounds (7.3).
Ring, who becomes the conference’s nominee for the 2019 USports Canadian rookie of the year awards, is the first Sea-Hawk named the AUS top first-year performer since 2004-05. That’s when Leonel Saintil earned the honour for Memorial.
Ring, who was also named to the AUS all-rookie team, was one of two Sea-Hawks men to receive accolades Wednesday.
Third-year player Nathan Barker is a first-team all-star, marking the third straight season the native of Massey Drive just outside Corner Brook has been named to an AUS all-star team.
Barker, who was the second-leading scorer in the conference in 2018-19 with 21.4 points per game, was an all-rookie selection in 2016-17 and a second-team all-star last season.
Barker isn’t the only Sea-Hawks basketballer with three straight AUS all-star selections. Memorial’s Sydney Stewart was named to the women’s conference first team Wednesday after finishing third in scoring (21.1 ppg) and first in steals (54 overall). The fifth-year player from London, Ont., was also a first-team pick in 2016-17 and a second-team choice last season.
Stewart's teammate, Sydney Ezekiel, was named to second all-star team. The St. John’s native, another fifth-year player, averaged just over 15 points per contest, seventh-best in the AUS.
Both Memorial teams are in Halifax for conference basketball championships this weekend.
The fifth-seeded Sea-Hawks women will face No.4 UNB in a quarter-final game Friday afternoon, while Memorial men’s side, ranked sixth, takes on third seed Dalhousie in a Friday night quarter-final.
The Memorial women bring a lot of experience to the floor; besides Stewart and Ezekiel, the lineup features Brooklyn Wright and Rosie Stanoev, two other graduating players. By contrast, the Sea-Hawk men’s roster doesn’t have a single fourth- or fifth-year player.