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HANCOCK, MI - Finlandia University Lions men's basketball alumnus Tyler Gordon has captured the 2010 NCAA Division III statistical title for steals-per-game, finishing his final season with a 3.60 average.
Finlandia athletic director Chris Salani and head men's basketball coach Charlie Kemppainen presented Gordon with his NCAA award plaque this week. A duplicate plaque is displayed in the awards case in the front lobby of Finlandia's Paavo Nurmi Athletic Center.
Gordon also captured the national NCAA DIII steals-per-game record in 2008, with 4.0, and in 2009 ranked a very close national second with 4.50.
An injury kept Gordon off the court in the final weeks of this season, limiting his total playing time in 2010.
"Only a handful of student-athletes can say they were the best in their field," wrote NCAA director of statistics Jim Wright in Gordon's award letter. "It is an honor for which you can be proud."
Gordon said that while he wanted be top in the nation again this year, it seemed too much to ask for.
"I feel good. I didn't expect to win it twice, but it happened!" Gordon said.
Gordon, from Bayfield, Wis., was a four year starter for the Lions. In addition to steals, throughout his four years of play, Gordon frequently led the Lions team in points, minutes-per-game, rebounds, and assists.
"This is very good for Tyler," Coach Kemppainen said. "We'd like to take the credit, but he did this himself. We coached him, and he took it from there, executing in a manner that made him excel. He's an engine that won't quit."
"Tyler has very good basketball instincts. He anticipates well, he has good court vision, and quick hands," Kemppainen explained. "He plays both sides of the ball, his steals record proves his defensive skill, and on top of that he's a top scorer on the offensive side. Kids like him don't come along every day. Tyler will be hard to replace."
Armed with two top national statistical records and multiple team records, Gordon has hired an agent and hopes to begin his professional basketball career in Europe. This summer, he participated in a professional basketball combine on the East Coast and feels he did very well.
For additional information about the Finlandia University men's basketball program, please contact Coach Kemppainen at 906-487-7238 or email@example.com.
Tyler Gordon with Award.jpg - Tyler Gordon captured the 2010 NCAA Division III statistical title for steals-per-game, finishing his final college career with a 3.60 average.
Tyler Gordon with Coaches.jpg - Tyler Gordon (center), who captured the 2010 NCAA Division III statistical title for steals-per-game, with Finlandia University athletic director Chris Salani (left) and head men's basketball coach Charlie Kemppainen.