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Durham Lords Eric Smith named OCAA Player of the Year & CCAA All-Canadian

Durham College third year forward Eric Smith (Ajax, Ont.) has been named the 2010/11 Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Player of the Year. Smith was also named a CCAA All-Canadian at the OCAA Championship banquet in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

The first round of the championship will begin on Thursday, March 3 at the Essar Centre. Durham will take on the Fanshawe Falcons at 7 p.m. Canada’s top men’s basketball talent will be heading to Oshawa as Durham College is hosting the 2011 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) national championship at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre from March 17-19, 2011.

The Ajax Ont. native led the province in scoring and rebounding, averaging 21.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Smith also finished sixth in assists with 56 on the year.

Smith had 11 double-doubles this season and scored 30 or more points in three games. In the month of February, he averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds per game, helping lead the Lords to a 15-5 conference record, finishing in second place in the east region and to earn a bye to the OCAA championship.

Smith was also named an OCAA East Region All-Star for the third consecutive year.

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The Lords big man was in good company as teammate Courtney Small (Oshawa, Ont.) was named an OCAA second team all-star. Small averaged 16.4 ppg (sixth in conference scoring) and had a total of 50 steals (second in the conference). This is the first year Small has been recognized as an OCAA all-star.

Smith and Small both eclipsed the 1,000 career point mark this season, as they sit second and third in Durham College career scoring.

Christoff Pierre (Brampton, Ont.) of Durham was named to the OCAA all-rookie team. In his first season with the green and gold, Pierre recorded 42 rebounds, 28 assists, 19 steals while averaging 4.4 points per game. Pierre is known as one of the top defenders in the province.

With the top honour, Smith becomes the second member of the Durham Lords men’s basketball program to be named OCAA Player of the Year since its introduction in 2003. CCAA all-time career scoring leader Anthony Batchelor was the first DC player to win the award back in 2007-08.

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Smith also joins Batchelor, Augusto Duquesne and Bill Crowdis on an exclusive list as the only other Lords men’s basketball players to be selected as CCAA All-Canadians. Duquesne was honoured in back-to-back years in 1995 and 1996 while Crowdis won the award in 1999. Both Duquesne and Crowdis are members of the OCAA Hall of Fame.

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The CCAA will present Smith with the All-Canadian award at the National Championship Banquet which is set to take place on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 in Oshawa, Ont. as Durham College will host the national championship. He will also represent the OCAA as a nominee for National Player of the Year award.

DURHAM LORDS MEN’S BASKETBALL ALL-CANADIANS
Eric Smith (2011)
Anthony Batchelor (1998)
Augusto Duquesne (1995 and 1996)
Bill Crowdis (1999)

OCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2011: E. Smith (Durham)
2010: J. Wilson (Fleming)
2009: C. Spurr (Algonquin)
2008: A. Batchelor (Durham)
2007: P. Sewell (Fanshawe)
2006: BJ Charles (Algonquin)
2005: N. Philbert (George Brown)
2004: S. Dennie (Humber)
2003: J. Bell (Algonquin)

DURHAM LORDS ALL-TIME SCORING
1. Anthony Batchelor – 1,524 pts
2. Eric Smith – 1,188 pts
3. Courtney Small – 1,045 pts

A QUICK LOOK AT ERIC SMITH
Program: Law and Security
Years at Durham: 3rd
Height: 6-5
High School: Jean Vanier
Hometown: Ajax, Ont.

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2010/11 Statistics:
GP: 20
FGM: 168
3PM: 2
FT%: 64
TP: 432
PPG: 21.6

CCAA/OCAA Milestones:
2010/11 OCAA Player of the Year
2010/11 CCAA All-Canadian
2010/11 OCAA First Team All-Star
2010/11 OCAA Scoring/Rebounding Leader
2009/10 OCAA First Team All-Star
2009/10 OCAA All-Star game Representative
2009/10 OCAA Rebounding Leader
2008/09 OCAA Second Team All-Star
2008/09 OCAA All-Rookie Team

Durham College Milestones:
2009/10 Male Athlete of the Year
2009/10 Men’s Basketball MVP
2008/09 Male Freshman of the Year
2008/09 Men’s Basketball Co-MVP
2008/08 Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Year

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