SYRACUSE, NY. – January 26, 2011 – Onondaga Community College men’s basketball player Jesse Gates (Liverpool) has been named the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Men’s Basketball National Player of the Week for the week ending January 23 (http://www.njcaa.org/newsArticle.cfm?articleId=13297). On Monday, Gates, a 6’5” forward, had been named the Mid-State Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the same period. He is the 5th Onondaga player ever to earn national player of the week recognition, and the first since Steve Siechen (East Syracuse Minoa / Mercy College) received the distinction in February of 2007.
Gates led the Lazers to three victories in three starts last week. Last Monday, he began the week with a career high 33 points and 9 rebounds in Onondaga’s 83-72 non-conference win at Adirondack Community College. Last Wednesday at Jefferson Community College, he matched his career high of 33 points on 11 of 20 shooting, including 4 of 8 from the three-point line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 4 assists as the Lazers knocked the Cannoneers out of first place in the MSAC with an 82-71 win. Gates closed the week with an 11 point, 5 rebound, 3 assist effort in a 92-76 win over Tompkins Cortland Community College. Gates, a Class AA All-State and two-time All-Central New York Player in high school, is leading the Lazers in scoring for the season. He is averaging 18.8 points per game, placing him 19th in scoring nationally, according to the latest National Junior College Athletic Association statistics. He is also averaging 7.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest.
Gates and the rest of the Lazers return to action tonight (Wednesday) at 8:00 pm, as they travel to Finger Lakes Community College. Finger Lakes is currently ranked #6 in the nation in the latest NJCAA Division III poll, and sits on top of the MSAC with a conference record of 5-1 and an overall mark of 16-2. Onondaga is currently one game back in the conference with a record of 4-2, and sports an overall mark of 15-6. The contest will mark the 5th time that Onondaga has faced a team in the national top ten this season.
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