By MICKEY RAY LAMB
Pima Community College men’s basketball sophomore forward Ben “Murphy” Gershman was named a Second-Team NJCAA II All American.
Gershman started in 27 of 31 games this season, leading the Aztecs to a 18-13 overall record, posting 20 double-doubles averaging 24.4 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Gershman was named NJCAA Player of the Week once, and ACCAC Conference Player of the Week three times.
He is only the fourth PCC player to have earned the honor and the first since Darrell King in 1991.
In a 2013 interview for the Aztec Press, fellow teammate Maurice Webb said Gershman “is the leader of our team in every sense. If there’s someone you should look up to or someone you’re trying to emulate on or off the court, it’s Ben Gershman.”
Gershman takes his responsibility as a leader seriously.
“Leadership is being able to take responsibility when things go bad,” Gershman said. “Taking everything on your shoulders and say, ‘you know, its my fault. I’ll take responsibility and find a way to get better next time.’”
Gershman started his Pima career at age 24 and did not expect to find the amount of success he found at Pima or to be enjoying the classroom aspect as much as he has.
“My advice to student athletes is to work as hard on the academics as you do on the athletics,” Gershman said. “Don’t allow yourself to work less than 100 percent in the classroom.”
Gershman signed his national letter of intent to play for Colorado School of Mines in November.
“They have a great basketball program and had an exceptional year,” Gershman said. “As an aspiring engineer, there’s really no better choice for me.”
In a recent Arizona Daily Star article, Gershman referred to the Pima gym banner displaying All-American achievers.
“One of my goals was to get my name on that banner,” he said, “and to get it is an amazing feeling.”