Xavier All-American forward William Loyd earns March Athlete of the Month honor
NEW ORLEANS – William Loyd, a senior forward for the Xavier men’s basketball team, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for March. Monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Loyd had a sensational month for the Gold Rush as he averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and two assists in four postseason victories. The 6-5 forward shot 70.8 percent from the floor (34-of-48) and 94.1 percent from line (16-of-17) as he was named the MVP of Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament, which the Gold Rush won for the first time since 1996.
His top performance came in the GCAC Tournament semifinals when he tallied career-highs of 31 points and 14 rebounds in a win over city-rival Dillard. While his season ended without national postseason play due to COVID-19, Loyd was still named to the NAIA Division I All-America second team – he is just the second player in Xavier men’s basketball history to earn second team (or higher) All-America recognition, joining future NBA standout Bruce Seals who was recognized in 1973. Seals was inducted into the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
Loyd was selected for the honor over four other local standouts.
• Stephen Klein, Delgado Community College’s first baseman, batted .469 in 11 games during Delgado’s COVID-19 shortened March schedule. He collected 15 hits, including two doubles, a home run and nine walks to go with seven runs and six RBI.
• Lexi Johnson, the Riverside Academy shortstop, battled all summer and fall to recover from a torn labrum and be ready for the start of the 2020 season. In 12 games she hit .571 with a .617 on base percentage, 15 runs, 24 hits, 19 RBIs, six doubles, two triples and eight home runs. She has signed to play college ball at Southeastern.
• Jerkaila Jordan scored 16 points in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division I girls’ basketball semifinals to lead top seed John Curtis to a 59-32 win over No. 4 Dominican on March 3. In the state championship game, she scored 23 points in a 48-25 victory over No. 2 Mount Carmel Academy. Jordan was named the Most Outstanding Player in the title game for an unprecedented fourth straight year. The senior, who has signed to play at Tulane, was also named Gatorade Player of the Year in Louisiana.
• Byron Joshua led Crescent City Christian to its second state boys’ basketball title in four years, this one was the Allstate Sugar Bowl/HSAA Division IV Championship. In the title game, he scored 15 points in a 60-49 win over Calvary Baptist. It was the Pioneers fourth straight trip to a state championship game. In the semifinals, the 5-10 guard scored 25 points to lead his team to a 67-51 win over St. Mary’s (Natchitoches). He also turned in a 25-point performance with four steals in a 78-63 win over Riverside in the quarterfinals on March 6. Joshua was selected to the Class 1A All-State First Team after averaging 24.7 points per game for the season.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1957. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. The 2019-20 monthly award winners will be honored this summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
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