Contact: Deanna Howes Spiro, Director of Communications, AJCU
(202) 862-9893, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) is pleased to name Clayton Custer of Loyola University Chicago and Zoie Miller of Loyola University New Orleans the inaugural National Jesuit Basketball Players of the Year. This award honors two student-athletes, one man and one woman, who best display excellence on the basketball court while maintaining core values of Jesuit education: men and women for others who are committed to academic excellence, service, leadership and caring for the whole person.
Both Custer and Miller were selected by a panel comprised of the six members of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight (JBS) steering committee. The Association launched JBS in 2008 to bring greater awareness of Jesuit education and its shared mission through the more than 80 games played by men's and women's basketball teams every season.
A senior point guard from Overland Park, Kansas, Custer led the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers to the Final Four during the 2018 NCAA D-I men’s tournament. At the conclusion of the 2017-18 season, he was named the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Player of the Year and was honored with the Lou Henson Award for most outstanding mid-major player. Additional honors include selection to the MVC First Team, NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team and CoSIDA Academic All-District V Team.
Custer said, "I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this award considering all of the great players and programs that represent Jesuit colleges and universities. This season was unforgettable and this award couldn't have happened without playing on a great team with other great players. I am proud to call myself a Loyola Rambler."
A senior guard from Frisco, Texas, Miller led the Loyola University New Orleans Wolf Pack into the second round of the 2018 NAIA women’s tournament. For her accomplishments this season, she was selected to the SSAC First Team, WBCA First Team All-America, NAIA First Team All-America and All-LSWA Second Team. She was also named the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Player of the Year.
Miller said, “I am honored to receive the National Jesuit Basketball Player of the Year Award. I’ve set the standards high for myself this season and exceeded my goals. I want to give thanks to God and coach Kellie Kennedy for giving me this opportunity to play for Loyola University New Orleans.”
The JBS Steering Committee had six criteria for National Jesuit Basketball Player of the Year: national honors and recognition for academic and athletic accomplishments; conference honors and recognition for academic and athletic accomplishments; awareness brought to Jesuit higher education; on-court team success; exceptional individual performances; and prior selection as a National Jesuit Player of the Week. To learn more about the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight program, please visit jesuitbasketball.com.