Empire athletes in the college basketball ranks


A look at Empire players in four-year college basketball programs this season:

Justin Herold — Sonoma State, senior; All-Empire at Maria Carrillo.

Herold leads Sonoma State in both scoring — 15 points per game — and rebounding — 6 — and is fifth in shooting percentage in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

A highlight was scoring a season high 22 points at Humboldt State on Thursday.

As a junior, Herold was the Seawolves’ third-leading scorer with 11 per contest and led the Seawolves in rebounds with nearly 6 per game, and blocks. He recorded the second-best field goal percentage for one season in the program’s history and is second on the all-time list.

In his first year with Sonoma State, he was named First Team All-CCAA and became the school’s first CCAA Newcomer of the Year. Herold led Sonoma State with 15 points a game and in blocks.

Kevin Aronis — New Mexico State, senior; All-Empire at Analy; All-Big 8 Conference for SRJC.

New Mexico State’s sharpshooting guard leads the team in 3-pointers and is sixth in scoring with 8 points per game, averaging a pair of rebounds per contest. Aronis had 10 points in a loss to then-No. 19 Gonzaga.

New Mexico State was picked to win the Western Athletic Conference title in the WAC Coaches’ Preseason poll as well as in the media poll.

Last year, Aronis led the Aggies in 3-pointers and averaged 4 points and more than one rebound per contest.

New Mexico State won the WAC tournament title and fell to St. Louis in the NCAA tournament.

Tanner Giddings — Fresno State, sophomore; All-Empire Player of the Year at Windsor.

The center/forward has averaged 5 points and 4 rebounds in a handful of games for the Bulldogs. As a freshman, Giddings made nine starts and averaged 2 points and 2 rebounds per contest.

Kenny Love — Whitworth, freshman; All-Empire at Cardinal Newman.

Love is a guard at the NCAA Division 3 school in Spokane, Wash. Whitworth is just outside the Top 25 rankings.

A part-time starter, Love is fifth on the team in scoring with 8 points a game, twice topping the Pirates in the scoring column. Love is second on the team in 3-pointers.

Erik Hanson — Cal Maritime Academy, senior; All-Empire for Rincon Valley Christian.

Hanson starts at forward and is a top scorer for Cal Maritime. The team is ranked 18th in the NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll.

Last season, as Cal Maritime’s sixth manHanson helped lead the Keelhaulers on a run to the sweet 16 in the NAIA national tournament.

Casey Healy — Cal Maritime Academy, senior; All-Empire for Petaluma.

A guard/forward, Healy is starting again this season for Cal Maritime.

As a junior, Healy earned an Honorable Mention in the All-California Pacific Conference as one of the Keelhaulers’ top scorers.

Cal Maritime set the school record for wins and the Keelhaulers won the school’s second conference tournament title to reach the NAIA tournament.

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