Proctor earns Bears' 11th All-Big Sky men's basketball honor
By SCOTT WARD
OGDEN, Utah -- Mike Proctor officially capped his senior season Wednesday with his first selection to an All-Big Sky Conference team.
Proctor, who finished his time with the Bears on Monday night with the fifth most rebounds in Northern Colorado history (655), earned a spot Wednesday on the 2012 All-Big Sky Honorable Mention team.
He is the 11th Northern Colorado player since 2006 to earn All-Big Sky honors, joining Kirk Archibeque (2007), Jabril Banks (2008, 2009), Sean Taibi (2008), Will Figures (2010), Devon Beitzel (2010, 2011), Yahosh Bonner (2010), Neal Kingman (2011) and Chris Kaba (2011).
The Bears joined the Big Sky Conference in 2006 and have had a league postseason honoree every year since.
Proctor played 12 minutes and grabbed the first two of his career rebounds in his very first collegiate game (a 66-64 loss at Oregon) and has been a mainstay for the Bears ever since. He started 71 games in his career at Northern Colorado, including 31 times during the 2009-10 season that saw the Bears win a school-record 25 games, and quietly put together one of the most well-rounded careers in Northern Colorado Basketball history.
He scored 257 points this season (9.5 per game) and grabbed 183 rebounds (6.8 per game). He also shot a career-best 55 percent from the floor (third best in the Big Sky) and logged a career-high 26.9 minutes per game.
"[Proctor is] a guy who's been through the thick and thin in the building of this program," Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill said. "He believed in what we had envisioned four years ago and came in and did his best and was a huge part of building this and winning a championship when a lot of people didn't think it was possible. That's a huge credit to his character and commitment and how hard he works."
Proctor led Northern Colorado in rebounds 43 games during his career, and his energy and enthusiasm on and off the court made him a fan favorite for much of his time in Greeley.
His individual accomplishments with the Bears include earning the program's Rebounder of the Year award in 2010 and being named to this year's South Padre Island Invitational All-Tournament team in November.
And, of course, he turned in a memorable performance in last year's Big Sky Conference Championship in Greeley, where he grew some legendary sideburns (follow him on Twitter @procchops), scored 13 points off the bench and grabbed a Championship-high 17 rebounds to earn a spot on the all-tournament team and help Northern Colorado to its first Big Sky Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
He's been a big part of Northern Colorado's growth from a NCAA Division I Independent to one of the country's brightest mid-major programs, and his honor Wednesday finally thrust him into the spotlight, after he spent much of his career in the background, slowly making a name for himself within the program and within the Bears' fan base.
"[Greeley], ever since I was a freshman here, has welcomed me, and I've grown to love it and enjoy the people who come to watch the games and are consistently here. Even though this season didn't really go the way that we wanted it to, they were still here. They still backed us up. We still have a great following.
"I've really enjoyed being a member of this program. I'm going to miss it a lot."
Most Valuable Player: Damian Lillard, Weber State
Newcomer of the Year: Collin Chiverton, Eastern Washington
Freshman of the Year: Dylan Garrity, Sacramento State
Defensive Player of the Year: Will Cherry Montana
*#Will Cherry, Montana, G, 6-1, Jr.
Cliff Colimon, Eastern Washington, G, 6-0, Sr.
Kareem Jamar, Montana, G/F, 6-5, So.
@#Damian Lillard, Weber State, G, 6-3, Jr.
#Charles Odum, Portland State, G, 6-0, Sr.
Chehales Tapscott, Portland State, F, 6-5, Sr.
#Unanimous Selection. @Three-Time Selection, *Two-Time Selection
Scott Bamforth, Weber State, G, 6-2, Jr.
Chase Grabau, Idaho State, G, 6-5, Sr.
Kenny McGowen, Idaho State, G, 6-0, Sr.
Derek Selvig, Montana, F, 7-0, Sr.
Art Steward, Montana, F, 6-4, Sr.
Collin Chiverton, Eastern Washington, F, 6-6, Jr.
Dylan Garrity, Sacramento State, G, 6-2, Fr.
Mike Proctor, Northern Colorado, F/C, 6-8, Sr.
Shawn Reid, Montana State, G, 6-5, So.
Kyle Tresnak, Weber State, C, 6-10, So.