KANSAS CITY, Mo. - West Liberty University's Alex Falk made a little Hilltopper history on Wednesday when he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches' (NABC) NCAA Division II All-America Team.
Falk, who will be leading the Hilltoppers into the Elite Eight tournament for the third straight year this afternoon in Louisville, Ky., is the first West Liberty men's basketball player to earn NABC All-America honors from the coaches since the West Virginia Conference transitioned from NAIA to NCAA affiliation during the mid-1990s.
The NABC All-America Team is considered the most exclusive of the All-America Teams as it is compiled in nationwide voting by the Division II head coaches and honors only the top 16 players from the nearly 300 NCAA Division II men's basketball teams in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Falk's latest honor is no surprise as the 6-foot-4 senior guard from Upper Sandusky, Ohio has made a virtual clean sweep of every major individual award since helping to lead West Liberty to its fourth consecutive West Virginia Conference championship.
Honored earlier this month as the NCAA Division II Daktronics National Player of the Year and first-team All-American Falk also swept the WVIAC and Atlantic Region Player of the Year Awards as the leading scorer on the nation's No. 1-ranked team.
Falk will be playing in his 135th career game today when the Hilltoppers (33-1) take on Winona State (27-7) in a 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal at Louisville's historic Freedom Hall. West Liberty has a 126-8 record with Falk on the floor over the past four seasons. Along with the four consecutive WVIAC titles - the first time that feat has been accomplished in nearly 40 years - the Hilltoppers have also reeled off three straight WVIAC and Atlantic Region Tournament titles.
The Hilltopper backcourter played a significant role in those championships, earning his second straight WVIAC Tournament MVP Award and following that up by earning a spot on the Atlantic Region All-Tournament team for the second straight year. Falk was the leading scorer in this year's WVIAC and Atlantic Region tournaments.
Falk has hit double-figures in 33 of 34 games this season and has 93 games with 10 or more points during his career. He hit for 20 points 19 times this season and reached the 30-point mark three times while climbing the WLU career scoring ladder to No. 5 all-time with 1,957 points. His 101 steals this year are just one shy of Corey Pelle's single-season school record of 102.
Falk was one of four NABC All-Americans who will be on the court at Freedom Hall during Thursday's four Elite Eight quarterfinal contests. He'll go head-to-head against Winona State's 6-9 senior Clayton Vette in the 2:30 p.m. game.
Franklin Pierce's Eric Jean-Guillaume, a 6-0 senior, will open the tournament at noon against Metro State (Colo.) while Drury's Alex Hall, a 6-2 senior, will take the court at 8:30 p.m. against South Carolina-Aiken.