Woodmore named NABC All-American
VIRGINIA BEACH -- A year ago, D.J. Woodmore might have been the best Division III freshman basketball player in the country.
Now he simply one of the best players, period.
Woodmore (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown) was recently named a first-team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, making him just the fourth Marlins men's basketball player to earn All-American honors. Brandon Adair was a two-time All-American in 2006 and 2007, Jason Nickerson earned the award in 1999 and Pete Withers did likewise in 1974.
"This isn't something I was really expecting, so it's a great feeling," Woodmore said. "It just goes to show how hard work can pay off."
It is just the latest in a series of awards bestowed upon Woodmore, a 6-3 sophomore who averaged a team-high 16.1 points and helped the Marlins to a 27-4 record, the ODAC Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. The ODAC Player of the Year, Woodmore was also tabbed a fourth-team All-American by D3hoops.com and was named to the ODAC All-Tournament team after the Marlins' 65-61 victory over Randolph College in the title game.
"D.J.'s overall athleticism and talent are just something you don't see every day," Virginia Wesleyan coach Dave Macedo said. "He's a special young man, one of those players who just by playing his game makes his teammates better."
This year's honors come after a rookie season in which Woodmore was tabbed ODAC Freshman of the Year – Virginia Wesleyan's first since 2006 – as well as National Rookie of the Year by D3hoops.com.
"This season I was put in the role where I needed to score a little more for my team," said Woodmore, who averaged 13.4 points as a freshman. "I needed to become more of a leader, more of an all-around player."
Macedo said Woodmore's commitment to succeeding in that role was evident from the first day of practice.
"He'd revamped his body and gotten rid of that high school frame," Macedo said. "Then he went out and increased his stats in every category. He became a player that other teams really had to focus on."
In addition to his team-best scoring average, Woodmore also led the Marlins in minutes played (29.9), ranked third in assists (2.2) and paced the ODAC in free-throw shooting percentage (85.6).
"Getting this recognition is great, but there's still a lot of work I need to focus on," Woodmore said. "I need to get a lot stronger, more physical. But as a team, we need that same mindset we had this year, and that's to get that ODAC championship and make another Final Four run."