Bryan Quiller and Le’Nijel Robinson are the first two Sandhills Community College basketball players to be named NJCAA All-Americans in the same season.
In an announcement made by the NJCAA last week, Quiller, a 6-foot-5 sophomore forward, and Region 10 Player of the Year, was a Division III first-team selection. A 6-1 guard, Robinson was a third-team selection.
The pair helped the Flyers earn Region 10 regular season and tournament titles, and the mid-Atlantic District Championship. Last month, Coach Mike Apple’s squad finished the season as the runner-up at the Division III National Championship held in Herkimer, NY.
The No. 1 seeded Flyers had an 18-game winning streak come to an end in the title contest, finishing with a record of 30-4.
“I am very proud of both young men to be recognized as NJCAA All-Americans this year as I was with Joey McMullin last year,” Apple said. “It is a testament to hard work on the court and a willingness by them as well as their teammates to play together.
“There are many reasons why we were able to accomplish what we did this past season, and they were two of the big ones.”
A product of Cary High School, Quiller was a three-year player for the Flyers via an additional year granted because of COVID, averaging 15.2, 16.8 and 14.5 points per game over that stretch. His field goal percentage of 64.9 was the third-best in Division III this past season. He made 77.1 percent of his free throws and averaged 5.8 rebounds per game.
Quiller scored in double figures 27 times with a high game of 29. He led the Flyers with 21 points in the 90-82 loss to Brookdale CC in the national championship final.
Quiller and Robinson could have filled several highlight reels with their spectacular dunks in transition, on baseline drives and in flushing teammates’ misses.
Robinson, a Concord High School grad, made the all-tournament team at the national championship. An All-Region 10 first-team selection, he averaged 11.4 points per game with a season-high 25 against Guilford Tech.
His 6.5 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists were both second-best on the team. He led the team in blocked shots and was third in steals. He made 52.4 percent of his shots from the field and 74.6 percent of his free throws.
At the Flyers’ end-of-the-season banquet, Robinson was given the Coaches Award. Apple described him as an “energizer bunny”.
“He had a motor that never shut off,” the coach said. “He brought it every single night.”
Previous Flyers All-Americans include 2009 Germann Bostic, 2010 Bostic, 2012 Markell Lotharp, 2017 Jeremias Easterling, 2018 Mason Harrell, 2020 Sayaun Dent, 2021 Derreco Miller and 2022 Joey McMullin.
~Written by C. Bergmann/Sandhills Community College.
~Photo by Donna Ford.