VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - After tremendous seasons by each, the Valdosta State Blazers and Lady Blazers are earning their fair share of Gulf South Conference postseason awards.
Head coaches Mike Helfer and Carley Kuhns are the Gulf South Conference men's and women's Coach of the Year respectively.
Helfer led the Blazers to a GSC regular season title and the top spot in the South region this season. It's his third coach of the year award, and he becomes just the fifth coach in league history to win the award three times.
Kuhns didn't waste any time jumping to the top of the GSC coaching heap, winning the award in her first season in Valdosta. The Lady Blazers finished the regular season 19-9, and second in the conference. That's their best finish in five years.
Jeremiah Hill is the Gulf South Men's Player of the Year after a stellar junior campaign. The Savannah native averaged 19.2 points per game, and led the Blazers in assists and steals. Forward Saadiq Muhammad was named to the All-Gulf South 2nd Team. The senior forward led the Gulf South Conference with a 61.2 FG% mark this season.
On the women's side, Kenya Samone' Dixon and Madi Mitchell are both All-GSC 1st Teamers.
Mitchell, a former Crisp Academy star, ranks top ten in the league in total points, points per game, FG percentage, and rebounds per game. She has 10 double-doubles and was a three-time Conference Player of the Week this season.
Samone' Dixon led the GSC with a 42% three-point percentage, and tied for 7th place in rebounds per game. The Baton Rouge, LA native ranks 8th in the conference at 15.3 points per game.
Both teams earned the right to host Gulf South Conference tournament first round games, and both will do so Tuesday. The #2 women kick off the action against 7th-seeded Delta State at 6:00 p.m. The top-ranked men host eight-seed North Alabama immediately after.