SAN MARCOS (6-13-2018) (UPDATED 7-10-2018) -- Humboldt State-bound full scholarship basketball player Jackson Strong, the state's leading 3-point shooter, has been selected as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for all sports for 2017-18.
Also moving on from Palomar's 2017-18 men's basketball team are Matt Myers to College of Idaho and LeVale Coleman-Bell to the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, North Dakota, both NAIA schools.
Being selected as PCAC Scholar Athlete of the Year automatically makes Strong, a 6-foot-4 sophomore shooting guard out of Torrey Pines High School, a finalist for the CCCAA State Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete award.
Strong knocked down 127 three-pointers during the 2017-18 season, breaking the Palomar single-season record of 107 set by Jeremy Killion during the 1997-98 season, when he was State Player of the Year and the state scoring leader (27 points per game), receiving scholarship offers from 14 Division I schools.
Killion narrowed his final two choices to the University of Utah, which was recruiting him heavily while reaching the 1998 NCAA Championship Game in which the Utes finally lost to Kentucky, and USC. Killion chose Utah and went on to star at shooting guard for two seasons under the late coach Rick Majerus on NCAA Tournament teams that went 28-5 in 1998-99 and 23-9 in 1999-2000.
Besides breaking Killion's Palomar single-season record, Strong also shattered the Comets' career 3-point record with a two-season total of 231 on 313 attempts, shooting 40.6 percent from behind the arc.
Strong led the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per game, averaged 4.7 rebounds per game and also connected on 86-of-105 free throws to lead the 2017-18 Comets with an 81.9 percentage.
Strong graduated from Palomar on May 25, with a 3.72 cumulative grade-point average for 76 units over his four semesters as a University Studies-Social Science major, compiling a 4.0 grade-point average in the fall semester of his freshman year.
He completed course work in Physical Science, U.S. History, Oral communication, Philosophy, College-Level Algebra, English Composition, Economics, Critical Thinking/Composition, Financial Accounting, Mass Communications and Managerial Accounting. He will major in Business Administration at Humboldt State.
Humboldt State is traditionally an NCAA Division II national power.
Notes on other Palomar scholarship players:
Strong's Palomar teammate Matt Meyers, a 6-foot-8, 255-pound post player out of San Marcos High School and U.S. Army veteran, accepted a full scholarship to College of Idaho, which advanced to the 2018 NAIA National Tournament.
In 30 games as a sophomore for the Comets, Meyers averaged 17.6 points per game, shot 58.2 percent form the field and 70.4 percent form the free throw line. He averaged 9.1 rebounds per game and 2.0 assists.
Meyers averaged 10.7 rebounds in conference play to lead the PCAC.
NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor began his collegiate career at College of Idaho before transferring to Seattle University.
Coleman-Bell, a sophomore from Willow Canyon High School in Surprise, Arizona, averaged 14.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during Palomar's 2017-18 season. After high school, he played for the graduate team at Hillcrest Prep Academy in Phoenix prior to becoming a Comet. The University of Jamestown, a frequent qualifier for the NAIA National Tournament, is ranked as one of the best colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.