Frontier Conference Player of the Year.
NAIA National Player of the Year.
And now, this is a no brainer, Carroll College senior men’s basketball forward Ryan Imhoff has been named the Independent Record’s Men’s Athlete of the Year.
“It’s an honor,” Imhoff said. “Carroll has some outstanding athletes and to be recognized as the top athlete is incredible.”
Imhoff led the Saints to a 28-6 record, a second consecutive Frontier Conference regular season and postseason championship and the second round of the NAIA tournament.
He averaged 19.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 steals and one block per game, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line.
In the first round of the NAIA tournament against Lindsey Wilson, a team that featured two seven-footers, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Imhoff scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Saints won 61-53.
Imhoff finished his career with 1,953 points, the fourth most in Carroll College history.
He was a three-time All-Frontier first-team performer. He earned NAIA All-American first-team honors this past season, as well as a third-team honor in 2016-17 and an honorable mention All-American in 2015-16.
“People know the numbers,” former Saints coach Carson Cunningham said. “I wish they could’ve seen how hard he worked each day. The pain he went through to suit up, battling through multiple dislocations and two shoulder tears which he ultimately had to have surgery on to repair. How competitive yet emotionally tethered he was day in, day out. I’m glad I got to see it. And I’m glad he’s being recognized here for the joy-filled, hard fought brand of ball he played with his teammates.”
Imhoff is back his home state of California, assessing what comes next. The chemistry major, affectionately dubbed “The Chemist” by Cunningham, is looking to continue his playing career professionally overseas, he said. During the NAIA national tournament, Imhoff drew interest from NBA G-League scouts.
“Coaching Ryan Imhoff at Carroll was a very fulfilling experience,” Cunningham said. “The guys he played with, the teams he played on — man, they made some great memories. I’m grateful to have been a part of it. And this season by Ryan in particular was dominant, in all facets, literally.”