Grace Lodes named MCCAA Western Conference Player of the Year after leading nation in blocked shots

Grand Rapids Community College basketball player Grace Lodes was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Michigan Community College Athletic Association Western Conference in postseason awards announced Wednesday.

Lodes, who led the nation in blocked shots, was joined by teammate Sally Merrill in being named All-Region, All-MCCAA, First Team All-Conference, and to the All-Freshman Team.

“I’m proud of our student-athletes and coaches for strong performances,” Athletic Director Lauren Ferullo said. “We have strong programs, with some of the best players in the state, and the nation. They work hard to be successful on the court and in the classroom.”

GRCC’s Marlene Bussler was named Second Team All-Conference, and Allison Kellogg and Emersyn Koepke were named Honorable Mention All-Conference.

The women’s team finished with a 20-11 record, reaching the championship game of the NJCAA Great Lakes A District tournament. David Glazier, wrapping up his sixth year at the helm, posted the most wins of his GRCC career.

Lodes, from Comstock Park, led the nation in total blocks with 99 and ranked in the top 10 in conference in rebounding. Merrill, a freshman from Allegan, was the team’s leading scorer with 491, averaging 15.8 points per game.

For the men’s team, Ryel Daye and Andrew Moore were named Third Team All-Conference, and Danyel Bibbs was named Honorable Mention All-Conference. The men’s team finished with a 10-19 overall record and 5-13 in the conference.

Moore led GRCC in scoring, with 584 points, averaging 20.1 per game. Daye was one of the best rebounders in the NJCAA D2. His average 11.9 rebounds per game was third best in the nation.

Grace Lodes holds a basketball.

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