Akula and Blunt named female and male athletes of the year

Akula and Blunt named female and male athletes of the year

By Mike Pilosof

Garden City, KS-The 2017 male and female athletes of the year came from two, totally different backgrounds.

Basketball player Kavita Akula and All-American defensive back BJ Blunt were recognized with the highest honor at Garden City Community College on Wednesday night at Conestoga Arena.

Akula, who came to Garden City in 2015, became the first Indian-born athlete to play women's college basketball in the United States. After spending time at the IMG Academy in Florida, Akula burst onto the scene during her freshman season, drilling a team-best 83 3-pointers and scoring 8.7 points per game. One year later, Akula drained 76 more triples and boosted her scoring average to 9. She fell just shy of becoming the school's all-time 3-point marksman.

"Kavita wasn't just a basketball player," Head Coach Nick Salazar said. "She was a great person. But it just so happened she could play basketball as well. She will go down as one of the best players to come through here."

Blunt not only burst onto the scene in 2016, he owned it.

The redshirt freshman, who played outside linebacker in high school, finished with eight interceptions; none bigger than his last-second pick of Arizona Western quarterback Emmanuel Gant that sealed the Broncbusters dramatic 25-22 victory over the second-ranked Matadors in the National Championship Game.

"BJ Blunt was the best defensive back in the country," Sims said following the championship game. "We saw it from day one."

Blunt recorded an interception in five out of 11, snagging at least two three times. His added a pick-6 in the Broncbusters victory over No. 6 Hutchinson. He currently holds an offer from Memphis.

Below is a list of the other award winners from Wednesday night:

Men's Basketball


Troy Stancil

Toughness Award

Jefkins Agyman-Budu

Inspirational Award

Naradain James

Consistency Award




Tyrus Barclay

Buster Award

Clint Allen


Alex Nielsen

Team MVP




Brianna Mead

Dan Evans Freshman of the Year

Alexis Elliot

Barrett/Greathouse All-around Athletic Trainer

Kesha Garcia

Barrett/Greathouse All-around Athletic Trainer




Bryan Blunt

Brightest Future Award

Trey Richards

Athletic/Academic Award 3.92

Rayshawn Wilborn

Broncbuster Award-What GCCC represents


Men's Soccer


Matheus da Silva

Outstanding Player

Breno Oliveria

Buster Award

Doncovish Dorbvilma



Women's Soccer


Ruth Estrada


Sierra Rivera

Outstanding Player

Love Pluviose

Buster Award




Bailey Martinez

Defensive Player of the Year

Megan Besecker


Madison Park

Coaches Award


Track Men


Denim Rogers

Field MVP

James Liburd

Track MVP

Quincy Watts

Track MVP

Jonathan Challenger

Most Improved


Track Women


Nyabuony Gatlauk

Field MVP

Kristian Ruiz

Track MVP

Ilishia Tarver

Most Improved


Cross Men


Rodney Henry


Luis Lozano

Most Improved

Frank Bearden

Coaches Award


Cross Women


Hannah Roemer


Daisy Ramirez

Most Improved

Kyaunna Libby

Coaches Award




Mara Stevens


Mallory Overpeck

Henry Charles Lift Your Spirit Award

Melanie Veliz

Most Improved




Leisha Nakagawa

Sophomore of the Year

Micaela Martinez/ Rebekah Roberts

Freshman of the Year

Hannah Adams

Buster Softball Player of the Year




Dominic Pollock

Most Valuable Player

Nathan Roy

Top Buster

Luke Russell

Top Sophomore




Alyson Kiley

Most Improved

Haley Walck

Outstanding Leadership and Showmanship

Sydney Rodriguez

Outstanding Leadership


Women's Basketball


Monica Barefield

Offensive Player of the Year

DeRae Lewis

Defensive Player of the Year

Kavita Akula

Buster of the Year




Tanner Hayes

Outstanding Rough Stock Cowboy

Gunner Stapleton

Outstanding Timed Event Cowboy

Tucker McClain

Buster Award


Jayme Flowers


Peyton Mentzer


Hagen Brunson




Jermiah Jackson

Iron Buster Award

Lawton Merriweather

Top Male Buster

Kavita Akula

Top Female Buster


Scholar Athlete of the Year


Kyaunna Libby


Mallory  Overpeck


Mitchell Savine



Female Athlete of the Year

Kavita Akula

Male Athlete of the Year

Bryan "BJ" Blunt


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