BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Bellingham Slam guards Jacob Stevenson and Rico Wilkins both picked up postseason awards for their play in the International Basketball League, as selected by the basketball website USBasket.com.
Stevenson was named both the IBL’s Guard and Player of the Year, while Wilkins was selected as Sixth Man of the Year by USBasket.com, a subsidiary of the popular website Eurobasket.com, which serves as an online resource for teams, coaches and players from around the world.
Stevenson, in his eighth season with the Slam, led the team in scoring with 22.6 points per game and also led in field goal percentage at 61 percent. He also provided a valuable defensive presence, ranking second on the team in both steals and blocked shots, with 51 and 21, respectively. Three times in 2013 Stevenson scored a season-high 30 points.
Wilkins, in his rookie campaign as a pro, came off the bench to average 16.9 points per game and finished as one of the Slam’s top three-point shooters, connecting on 39 percent of his outside shots. After a slow start to the season, Wilkins went on to score in double figures in his last eight games, and scored a season-high 34 points on May 24 against the Salem Sabres.
The duo helped the Slam capture their second straight IBL Championship, which they won in dramatic fashion, 117-114 over the Vancouver Volcanoes, on July 5 in Portland. Wilkins led Bellingham with 27 points on 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc, while Stevenson was just behind with 26 points.
Before joining the Slam, both Stevenson and Wilkins starred at Western Washington University and helped their respective squads to post-season success. Stevenson was a member of the 2001 team that reached the NCAA Division-II Final Four for the first time, while Wilkins was a member of the teams which made back-to-back Final Four appearances in 2012 and 2013, winning the NCAA-II National Championship in 2012.
In addition to the individual accolades, Stevenson was named an IBL first-team All-Star by USBasket.com while former Viking guard Morris Anderson earned the nod as an honorable mention.