Basketball. Aquino to play in NJCAA All-Star game in May

| 19 Apr 2023 | 06:07

SUNY Orange’s Romeo Aquino, the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, has been invited to participate in the 2023 NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game on May 20 in Las Vegas, NV.

Presented by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the contest will feature 12 Division I players, seven Division II players and five Division III players. The 24 players will be separated into teams at a later date.

Coaches of this year’s teams will be national champions head coaches Randy Casey of Milwaukee Area Tech and Paul Cisek of Brookdale on one bench while the other squad will be led by the two coaches of the 2023 Hall of Fame class: Scott Schumacher of Blinn and Jerry Carrillo of Cochise.

Tipoff will be at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time at The Orleans Arena. This is the 13th NJCAA Men’s Basketball All-Star Game dating back to 2009.

Aquino (Newburgh, N.Y.), also a first-team All-American, averaged a double-double for the season, scoring 23.8 points per game and grabbing 10.2 rebounds per contest. He ranked among the best in the nation statistically in points per game (fourth at 23.8 ppg.), rebounds per game (15th at 10.2 rpg.), defensive rebounds (fifth at 240) and total rebounds (sixth at 336). His 784 points (in 33 games played) were the most scored by any men’s player, regardless of division, within the NJCAA during the 2022-23 season.

Additionally, he averaged 3.3 assists per game, shot 57.7 percent from the field, converted 76.4 percent of his free throws and shot 24.6 percent from three-point range.

He helped the Colts to a 31-3 record and the program’s first-ever appearance in the NJCAA Final Four. The Colts entered the tournament seeded sixth before defeating Scottsdale 85-63 and Henry Ford 102-87 to reach the semifinals. With a berth in the title game on the line, eventual champ Milwaukee Area Tech dispatched the Colts 79-76. SUNY Orange then fell in the third-place game to host Danville Area 74-65.