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Two Firebirds Earn All-East Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Honors

Two Firebirds Earn All-East Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Honors

CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – The University of the District of Columbia's Joseph Nickerson and Kasim Chandler have earned First and Second Team All-East Coast Conference honors, respectively, as voted on by the league's head coaches.

Nickerson, the first Firebird to earn First Team All-Conference honors since Nigel Munson and Brandon Herbert in 2011-12, is No. 2 in NCAA Division II steals per-game average with 3.20, and he ranks in the top-10 in the ECC in five major statistical categories, including No. 1 in steals. The senior guard is 3rd in scoring (20.2 points per-game), 2nd in free-throw percentage (86.9), 6th in rebounding (7.3 rebounds per-game), and 10th in assists with 81. He is also 5th in minutes played per-game (33.5), 12th in three-point field goal percentage (39.6), and 20th in blocks with nine.

This season, the Newark, NJ native scored in double-figures in all 25 games he played, including eight games of over 20 points and two games of 35 points or more. In back-to-back ECC games in early February, Nickerson scored 35 points in a loss at St. Thomas Aquinas, and a career-high 37 points in a win at home vs. NYIT. He also notched six point-rebound double-doubles this season, recording a season-best 11 rebounds at Molloy on February 22nd.

Nickerson also came through in the clutch twice this season with the game on the line in the final seconds of regulation. Against ECC foe Daemen on December 3rd, Nickerson drove the length of the floor in under four seconds and, while going up for a layup, drew a shooting foul with two-tenths of a second remaining in the game. A perfect 5-of-5 at the foul line that day, he calmly sank both free throws to force a tie and send the game to overtime, where UDC went on to win, 90-84. He'd do the same thing at the end of regulation in a December 30th game vs. regional foe Nyack College, and the Firebirds went on to win that game in overtime, 102-97.

Nickerson played two seasons with the Firebids after transferring from Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. With No. 5 seeded UDC's ECC Quarterfinal loss on Wednesday night at No. 4 Daemen, his four-year collegiate career came to an end. In that illustrious career, including his statistics over two years at Brookdale CC, Nickerson finished with 1,769 points, 664 rebounds, 325 assists and 282 steals.

Chandler, a senior point guard, is also among the top-10 in the ECC in several categories. He ranks No. 1 in the league and No. 14 in Division II for free-throws made with 155, 2nd in the league behind Nickerson and 18th in the nation for steals per-game with 2.30, 3rd in the ECC with 111 assists, and 6th in the league in scoring with 19.0 points per-game.

Also a Newark, NJ native, Chandler scored in double-figures in 25 of 27 games this season, including 12 games of 20 points or more. He scored a career-high 41 points on February 1st at Roberts Wesleyan – the most points scored in a game by a UDC player since Lyndon DeBellotte scored 44 points vs. Bowie St. on February 17th, 1988. He also had 11 games of five or more assists (including a season-high nine assists in a win at Chestnut Hill on November 13th), and 18 multiple-steal games (including a career-high six steals vs. Virginia Union on November 30th).

Chandler reached the 1,000-point career scoring plateau with a 25-point scoring effort in a nail-biter, 71-69 ECC road win at NYIT on January 7th. A Division I transfer from Quinnipiac University, he played two seasons with the Firebirds. Including his statistics at Quinnipiac, Chandler finished a remarkable four-year collegiate career with 1,254 points, 351 assists, 310 rebounds and 135 steals.

Nickerson and Chandler led the Firebirds to back-to-back over .500 seasons and consecutive ECC Tournament appearances after a three-year drought for UDC.