Florida Tech Panthers Men’s Basketball Receives National Association of Basketball Coaches Academic Excellence Award
By Matt Padeway, Florida Tech News Bureau // July 23, 2023
panthers finished the academic year with a team GPA of 3.06
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech men’s basketball team earned the 2022-23 National Association of Basketball Coaches Team Excellence Award when the NABC announced its 2022-23 Honors Court on Thursday afternoon.
Six Panthers were named to the NABC Honors Court for their performance in the classroom. Recent graduates George Nehma, Mekhii Noble, and Sean Houpt, along with current scholar-athletes Niall Harris, Stephen Merritt, and Elias Martin, earned the honor.
Florida Tech finished the 2022-23 academic year with a team GPA of 3.06. This is the second consecutive year that the Panthers have earned the Team Excellence Award.
To earn the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, institutions must report the GPAs of all scholar-athletes on the roster.
The NABC Honors Court recognizes men’s basketball scholar-athletes that excel both on the court and in the classroom. In order to be named to the Honors Court, a scholar-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria.
The qualifications are as follows:
■ Academically a junior, senior, or graduate student and a varsity player.
■ Cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the academic year.
■ Member of a four-year institution with at least one active NABC-member coach.
Earning his second NABC Honors Court recognition, Houpt earned his degree in Sports Management in the Fall of 2022 and began his MBA program in Spring of 2023.
He finished the year with a cumulative GPA of 3.54. On the court, Houpt appeared and started in 28 games for the Panthers and led the team in scoring after he averaged 21.0 points per game. He also averaged 4.1 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game.
Noble earned his MBA in Spring 2023 with a 3.33 GPA. The Jacksonville, Fla. native appeared in 20 games, including 19 starts, for Florida Tech during the 2022-23 season.
He averaged 12.4 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, and led the team in field goal percentage after he made 57.3 percent of his shots from the floor.
Nehma earned his third consecutive NABC Honors Court recognition after he finished his first year of graduate school with a 3.66 GPA in the Aerospace Engineering program.
The Sydney, Australia native appeared in 16 games and recorded 17 points, 22 rebounds, eight assists, five steals, and two blocks.
Harris landed on the NABC Honors Court for the second time in his career after earning his degree in Aerospace Engineering with a 3.89 GPA during the Spring semester.
The senior appeared in 28 games with 26 starts and averaged 11.1 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game, 3.3 assists per game, 1.9 steals per game, and led the team with 1.4 blocks per game.
Also being named to the Honors Court for the second straight year, Martin holds a 3.41 GPA in Ocean Engineering.
The Green Cove Springs, Fla. product appeared in all 30 games with 25 starts and averaged 5.5 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, and 1.3 assists per game.
Merritt, a Computer Engineering major, holds a 3.54 GPA.
The Merritt Island, Fla. native appeared in 12 games and totaled 13 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, one block, and one steal during the 2022-23 season.
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