Hill Named GSC Player of the Year; Helfer Named GSC Coach of the Year

By  | 

On the heels of an incredible regular season for the Valdosta State men's basketball team, the program was rewarded handsomely by the Gulf South Conference with a multitude of postseason awards.

Highlighting the list of honorees, was senior guard Jeremiah Hill, who not only earned First Team All-GSC honors, but also earned recognition as the 2017 Gulf South Conference Player of the Year.

"I am very happy for Jeremiah but just as happy for our team. This award reflects our team success this season," said Head Coach Mike Helfer about the first player to win the award under his tutelage since the conference went away from a divisional format. "Jeremiah is a great basketball player but he is really a great ambassador for our program and Valdosta State University. He will graduate and be extremely successful in the next steps of his career."

Hill's recognition comes after a season in which he helped lead the Blazers to a first place finish in Gulf South Conference play with an average of 19.2 points per game. In addition, Hill also led the team in assists with 110 and steals with 54. The Savannah, Ga. native became the newest member of Valdosta State men's basketball's 1,000 point club when he hit the mark on Senior Day against Lee this past Saturday. Hill accomplished the feat in less than three full seasons as a Blazer.

Joining Hill on the list of honorees was Helfer, who was voted on by his peers as the 2017 GSC Coach of the Year. Valdosta State's veteran coach has had a historic season in 2016-17, leading the Blazers to an astounding 24-4 overall record and a 19-3 stint in Gulf South Conference play. As such, the program is currently ranked No. 20 in the nation and holds the top position in both the GSC and the South Region. Earlier this season, Helfer recorded his 400th win as a head coach at the collegiate level, and he recently scored his 100th career victory against GSC opponents. He currently stands at 225-123 (.647) at Valdosta State, and 104-84 against conference opponents. The award marks the third of Helfer's career and makes the 12th year coach just the fifth coach in league history to earn the award three times. Helfer previously won the award in both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons as the GSC East Coach of the Year.

Finally, Saadiq Muhammad joined the fray as another All-GSC honoree. The senior, who currently leads the GSC in field goal percentage at 61.2 percent (139-of-227), earned Second Team All-GSC honors. The honor marks the first of Muhammad's career, and comes in recognition of his significant contributions to the successful season of VSU men's basketball in 2016-17.

Valdosta State will open up playoff action on Tuesday night at The Complex as the No. 1 seed and will host the No. 8 ranked North Alabama Lions. Tip time is slated for 8:00 p.m., immediately following the women's quarterfinal matchup against Delta State at 6:00 p.m.