Cochise College forward Naje Smith was recently named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) First Team All-America First Team for Region 1.
Smith becomes just the second student-athlete in Cochise College men’s basketball history to receive this honor. Andre Smith was the first in 2005-2006. Each respective division’s sports committee made NJCAA All-American selections via conference call. Each district’s respective director submitted nominations and district ranking of student-athletes.
Smith a sophomore from Spokane, Wa. was the only player from the Apaches ACCAC (Arizona Community College Athletic Conference), to be awarded first team honors.Two other players, one from Eastern Arizona and one from Arizona Western, received Honorable Mention honors.
Prior to being honored by the NJCAA, Smith had been selected to the ACCAC First Team and named Player of the Year for the 2019-20 season. He helped lead Cochise to the ACCAC championship with an overall record of 23-8 and 17-5 in ACCAC play. He averaged 23.3 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Apaches this past season.
“He had an excellent two-year career at Cochise College and was integral in helping Cochise win back to back ACCAC championships the last couple of years,” Cochise College head basketball coach Jerry Carrillo said,
In May, Smith will graduate with an associate of general studies degree. Around this time, he will be signing a National Letter of Intent to attend Boise State University, an NCAA DI school in the Mountain West Conference.
“We are very proud of Naje. His teammates did a great job in assisting him and believing in him all year long,” Carrillo added. “This honor is well deserved for Naje as he led us to the ACCAC title and was a Team First Player. We wish him the very best at Boise State.”