Mitch Riggs repeats as SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year


Mitch Riggs repeats as SAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Thursday, March 17, 2016 | by Josh Manck, Assistant AD for Athletic Communications

ROCK HILL - Newberry College senior Mitch Riggs has been named the South Atlantic Conference's Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season, as announced by the conference office Thursday.

Riggs, a senior physical education major from Langwarrin, Victoria, Australia, carries a 3.74 grade point average and has been named to the Newberry College Dean's List seven times in his career. He has been named to the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll in each of his three years at Newberry, while also earning Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Awards all three years at Newberry.  The honor marks the second straight year Riggs has earned the prestigious South Atlantic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor for men's basketball.

"Riggs is a first class young man who has consistently gone above and beyond what is asked of him on the court, in the classroom and in the community," said Newberry head men's basketball coach Dave Davis. "Mitch is a leader on our team and has made a huge impact in our community as well. His constant improvement in all areas of his life are a testament to the type of young man he is."

On the court, Riggs has averaged 20-plus minutes per game during his career. Riggs averaged 11.2 points per game during his freshman campaign and ranked third in the league in three-point field goals per game to earn South Atlantic Conference All-Freshman honors. After averaging eight points per outing during his sophomore season, Riggs put in 12.9 points per game during his junior season to rank in the top 20 in the league. He dished out 72 assists in the 2014-15 campaign to rank No. 8 in the SAC and finished the year with a 43 percent stroke from downtown. Riggs finished the 2015-16 season with 12.8 points per game and shot 45.1 percent from the floor. He averaged 24.4 points per 40 minutes to rank No. 7 in the South Atlantic Conference.

Riggs has volunteered countless hours in the Newberry community. He was member of the Big Brother Program at Gallman Elementary during the past three years as he visited the school one to two times per week to help students with special needs and those students struggling with academic classes. He also served as a volunteer to Lexington County elementary schools during his sophomore year to read to classes. Riggs helped coach a free youth basketball clinic at Newberry Elementary this past season and refereed Special Olympic basketball games during the winter. Riggs has also served as a mentor to students at Little Mountain Elementary school educating the students on the dangers of drug use.

He is a member of the Newberry College International Students Organization and volunteers his time at home in Australia at holiday basketball camps for local teams.