The honors keep coming for Indiana University Northwest freshman Sharon Houston. So do the points and the rebounds.
On Tuesday, Houston, a 6-foot, 3-inch forward from Merrillville High School who is averaging 23.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, was named the NAIA Division II Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 4, 2009. Her award was based on a 32-point, 25-rebound performance in a Jan. 3 home game against Indiana Tech. The shorthanded Lady RedHawks (7-9), who went into the contest with just seven available players, lost the game 74-69, but Houston turned in a nearly superhuman effort, playing 40 minutes of basketball and falling just three blocks shy of a triple-double.
Also on Tuesday, the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, of which IU Northwest is a also member, named Houston its Co-Player of the Week based on her performance in the Indiana Tech game. Houston shared the honor with Tenesha Parker of Robert Morris-Springfield. It is the third time this season that Houston has earned USCAA honors.
In December, Houston earned Female Player of the Week recognition from the NAIA Association of Independent Institutions. But the NAIA does not begin naming basketball Players of the Week for its two divisions until January; Houston was the first women’s basketball player awarded that honor this season.
“Sharon is an outstanding competitor and has been great both on the court and in the classroom from day one,” said IU Northwest women’s coach Ryan Shelton. “She’s a tremendous teammate who leads by example and challenges herself and her teammates to play their absolute best at all times. She is very deserving of these awards, and it’s great to see the NAIA and USCAA recognizing her as one of the best.
“I believe Sharon is without question the best player in the nation, and her teammates, coaches and university couldn’t be more proud of her,” Shelton added.
Houston and the Lady RedHawks next play at home on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. versus Andrews University. This weekend, the women go on the road to Grand Rapids, Mich., where they will play Kuyper College on Friday, Jan. 9, and Grace Bible College on Saturday, Jan. 10.