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February 23, 2010

Yves Mekongo Named First Team Academic All-American

Yves Mekongo

La Salle senior Yves Mekongo has been named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America men's basketball first team. It is the second straight season that the Cameroon native has earned Academic All-America honors.

"It is appropriate that Yves completes his La Salle career with this highest honor," head coach Dr. John Giannini said. "He deserves it. His work ethic and character are truly extraordinary. We are immensely proud of him."

He is the fourth La Salle men's basketball player to receive the award, and the third to earn it twice, joining Jack Hurd (1991, 1992) and Tim Legler (1986, 1988). Tony DiLeo was the first Explorer men's basketball player to receive Academic All-America honors in 1977. Mekongo is also just the tenth La Salle athlete in any sport to receive first team Academic All-America honors.

The St. Patrick's High School (NJ) graduate has also earned Academic All-District, Academic All-Atlantic 10 and Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area awards twice in his career. Mekongo has a 3.81 grade point average as an integrated science, business and technology major.

The senior is averaging a career-best 11.1 points per game and reached the 1,000-point milestone on February 6 versus Saint Louis. He adds 5.5 rebounds per game and is shooting 71.5 percent from the foul line.

Mekongo has missed the past three games with a fractured pinky finger in his left hand.

He is joined on the first team by the Academic All-American of the Year Cole Aldrich of Kansas, Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis, Columbia's Patrick Foley, and Butler's Matt Howard.

To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his current institution and be nominated by his sports information director.

Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.