UM’s Jamar Selected Big Sky Conference MVP

Kareem Jamar. Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont., February 7th, 2013. Photo by AustinSmith.

OGDEN, Utah (March 11, 2013) – For the first time in more than 20 years, a Montana Grizzly has been selected as the Big Sky Conference men’s basketball Most Valuable Player.Grizzly junior forward/guard Kareem Jamar was tabbed as the Most Valuable Player, and also named to the All-Conference First Team for the second straight season.The 2012-13 All-Conference team and individual award winners were selected by the league head coaches on Monday morning. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

Montana senior guard Will Cherry was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, and also garnered First Team All-Conference honors for the third time.

Weber State junior Davion Berry, a transfer from Division II Cal State Monterrey Bay, was named as the Newcomer of the Year, and also garnered All-Conference First Team honors.

Eastern Washington’s Venky Jois was selected as the Freshman of the Year.

Jamar and North Dakota junior Troy Huff were unanimous selections to the First Team. Joining Jamar, Cherry and Huff on the First Team were Weber State senior guard Scott Bamforth, Northern Arizona senior guard Gabe Rogers, and Northern Colorado junior forward Derrick Barden.Jamar, a versatile 6-foot-5 player from Venice, Calif.,  averaged 14.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists per game. He ranks in the top 15 in the Big Sky Conference in assists (third), scoring (seventh), assist/turnover ratio (seventh), 3-point field-goal percentage (13th) and field-goal percentage (15th).

Jamar helped Montana to its second straight regular-season conference title. Montana won a single-season conference record 19 games and lost just once. The Grizzlies will take a 23-6 overall record into the conference championship, which begins Thursday in Missoula.

Bamforth returned to the First Team for the second time in three seasons. He was a First Team pick as a sophomore and Second Team as a junior. Bamforth averaged 13.3 points per game during the regular season. He leads the Big Sky with an .881 free-throw shooting percentage. He averages 2.5 3-pointers per game and shoots .448 percent from 3-point range.

Barden, a 6-5 transfer fromDetroit, shined in his first season withNorthern Colorado. He leads the Big Sky with 10 double-doubles. He finished the regular season, averaging a league-best 9.1 rebounds per game. Barden averages 13.6 points per game and shoots .558 percent from the floor.

Rogers rounded out the First Team. The senior from Houston,Texas, had enjoyed a strong final campaign after suffering a shoulder injury as a junior. Rogers, who ranks sixth all-time in made 3-pointers in league history with 245, finished the regular-season averaging a league-best 18.1 points per game. He has made a league-high 93 3-pointers.