For the second year in a row, CCRI men’s basketball standout Desmond Williams (Torrington, Conn.) has earned First-Team All-American honors by the NJCAA for Division II men’s basketball. Williams becomes the first men’s basketball player to earn back-to-back First Team All-American honors in the history of the Knights men’s basketball program.
“Hearing today that Desmond was named NJCAA DII First-Team All-American for the second straight year made me realize once again how talented an individual he really is,” CCRI men’s coach Rick Harris said.
On the women’s side, also for the second year in a row, Jahira Smith (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has been named Second-Team All-American by the NJCAA for Division II women’s basketball. This is the second All-American award for Smith this season after being named 2013 WBCA Junior/Community College Coaches’ All-America Team. Smith was chosen to the 10-member team was selected by a vote of the WBCA national selection committee.
“Jahira has had a wonderful career at CCRI,” CCRI women’s coach Kate Lynch said. “Jah has re-written history for the women’s basketball program and I am so proud of her. She deserves every accolade out there. It has been a privilege to coach such a great player and a fantastic young lady. We are going to miss her.”
Smith is a captain of the Lady Knights and two-time All-Region XXI (New England) selection. Recently, she helped lead her team to the “Elite Eight” this year at NJCAA National Tourney. Smith led nation is steals with 126 averaging 4.3 assists per game. In addition, she is the CCRI all-time leader in scoring with 1,058 points; assists with 315; steals with 259; and made free throws with 186. Smith was also honored as the Kevin McNamara Award as D-III/CC Women’s Player of the Year by Cox Communications.
Over Williams’ two-year career, the Knights went 51-17, winning back-to-back Region XXI titles and a district title, while making it to the National Championship game in his freshman year.
As a sophomore Williams was a captain and was just as impressive as he was in his freshman campaign. He led the Knights to an impressive 20-12 record and second Region XXI title in two years. Williams was a prolific scorer for the Knights, who was ranked No. 6 in the nation this year by the NJCAA, averaging 22.7 points per game. He ended his career as No. 4 all-time scorer in CCRI history with 1,332 career points. Williams scored in double-figures 26 of the 27 games he played in this year, including erupting for 30 or more points five times and 20 or more points 17 times. For his efforts Williams was also honored as the Steve McDonald Award winner as the D-III/CC Co-Men’s Player of the Year by Cox Communications for the second year in a row.
“While other team’s players would seek 35 point games, Desmond would instead seek smiling teammates and satisfied coaches along with team victories,” Harris said.