#By RENALDO DORSETT
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#POWER five NCAA Division I conferences continue to honour student-athletes for their work in the classroom and several Bahamians were among those recognised this week.
#The Big 12 announced their 2019-20 Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team which featured both Kai Jones of Texas Longhorns basketball and Oscar Smith, formerly of Kansas State Wildcats (now Ohio State Buckeyes) track and field.
#The team recognises first-time/incoming freshmen that achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and met participation criteria. A total of 870 student-athletes were named to the squad.
#On the court, Jones has recently been listed as a highly coveted prospect for the 2021 NBA Draft by Sports Illustrated. The publication listed Jones, the 19-year-old, 6’11” 215 pound Longhorns forward, at No.30 among the top prospects for next year’s draft.
#“Admittedly, Jones is still pretty much a wild card, but NBA teams are well aware of what he brings to the table athletically, and he showed signs of figuring things out toward the end of this season. He should figure more prominently into the rotation as a sophomore, but will still have to compete for minutes with a host of other bigs,” SI’s Jeremy Woo said.
#“Jones has to add strength, but he’s wiry and explosive and has shown flashes of skill development from a face-up standpoint that hints at some future versatility. But he’s yet to take the next step, and until he does, he’ll remain more of an idea in the eyes of the NBA.”
#For the season, Jones averaged 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
#Smith, will make the move to the Big 10 when he transfers to the Buckeyes.
#In his lone season with the Wildcats, Smith ran an indoor season’s best of 7.81 seconds in the 60m hurdles in the prelims at the Razorback Invitational in February. The time ranked No.4 all time on the school’s top 10 list.
#According to his feature on the Wildcats’ athletic website, he made his Kansas State debut with a time of 8.02. The following day he ran a time of 7.87 and in his first race of 2020, posted a time of 7.98.
#Smith joins a Buckeyes men’s programme that finished fifth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. The Buckeyes claimed 10 top-eight finishes and collected four medals.