May 4, 2013 11:58 PM by AP
BATON ROUGE --- A 1970s era star from Tulane University and a long-time McNeese State University sports information director were the major honorees at Saturday's 39th Annual Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Awards Banquet.
Inducted into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame was Tulane's Jeff Cummings.
The other major honoree was the former McNeese State SID, Louis Bonnette, who won the LABC's Mr. Louisiana Basketball award. This award is given annually to someone who has made a significant, long-term contribution to the game of basketball at any level in the State of Louisiana.
Also honored at the banquet were Louisiana's major college, small college, junior college and high school basketball players and coaches of the year, along with the top pro player from the state.
Cummings played at Tulane from 1975 to 1977, where he was an honorable mention All-American and first team All-Metro Conference selection. He finished his two-year career as the eleventh leading scorer and sixth leading rebounder in Tulane history, with career averages of 19.5 points and 11.6 rebounds. He set school records with 38 career double-double games (points and rebounds) and 27 games of 20 or more points.
Cummings averaged a conference-leading 19.2 points and 12.0 rebounds in 1977, following averages of 19.7 points and 11.1 rebounds the prior year. After college, he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the fourth round of the 1977 NBA Draft and played for eight years in the European League in Italy and France.
Bonnette retired in 2012 as the SID at McNeese State after a distinguished 46-year career in which he was recognized nationally for his news releases, game programs and media guides. As McNeese State's first SID, he worked to bring the story of Cowboy athletics to the state, region and nation and promoted numerous McNeese State players to All-American honors, including Hall of Famer Joe Dumars.
Bonnette was a two-time president of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and was a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee since its inception in 1983. He received numerous professional honors during his career, including the LSWA's Mac Russo Award for contributions to the association's progress and ideals and the LSWA's Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism. Additionally, the Southland Conference created the Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award in his honor.
The LABC also presented the Pete Maravich Memorial Award, honoring Louisiana's Major College Player of the Year, to senior guard Derick Beltran of Southern. This season Beltran was a first team HBCU All-American and All-Southwestern Athletic Conference selection and was the MVP of the SWAC Tournament, while averaging 16.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.42 three-point field goals along with a 34.2% three-point field goal percentage. He scored in double figures in 29 of 33 games and had single game highs of 35 points, 9 rebounds and 8 three-point field goals.
Coach Roman Banks of Southern received the Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Award as Louisiana's Major College Coach of the Year. In only his second season, he led the Jaguars to the SWAC Tournament championship and to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in seven years with a 23-10 record. This was the school's first 20-win season in 14 years and most wins since 1990, which earn Banks HBCU National Coach of the Year and SWAC Coach of the Year honors.
The Bob Pettit Award, which is given to Louisiana's Professional Player of the Year, was presented to forward Paul Millsap of the Utah Jazz. In his seventh year in the NBA, the former Louisiana Tech star averaged 14.6 points and 7.1 rebounds. Millsap had 15 double-double games and had single game highs of 34 points, 15 rebounds and 5 steals.
Junior guard Brandon Davis of LSU-Shreveport received the Louisiana Small College Player of the Year award after being named a second team NAIA All-American, first team All-Red River Athletic Conference selection and the RRAC Newcomer of the Year, while averaging 22.4 points and 12.6 rebounds and a nation-leading 19 double-double games. First year coach Kyle Blankenship of LSU-Shreveport, who was named the Louisiana Small College Coach of the Year, guided the high-scoring Pilots to the semifinals of the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in school history with a 27-7 record.
Jeffrey Walker and Coach Ricky Wilson of Baton Rouge were honored as the Louisiana Junior College Player and Coach of the Year, respectively. Walker, a freshman guard/forward, averaged 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds and was the Miss-Lou Conference Player of the Year and a NJCAA All-Region 23 and Region 23 All-Tournament selection. Wilson, who was the MLC Coach of the Year, led the Bears to their first MLC championship and to the semifinals of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament with a 17-14 record.
2013 LABC Honorees:
Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee: Jeff Cummings, Tulane
Mr. Louisiana Basketball: Louis Bonnette, McNeese St.
Bob Pettit Award for the Louisiana Professional Player of the Year: Paul Millsap, Utah Jazz
Pete Maravich Memorial Award for the Louisiana Major College Player of the Year: Derick Beltran, Southern
Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Award for the Louisiana Major College Coach of the Year: Roman Banks, Southern
Louisiana Small College Player of the Year: Brandon Davis, LSU-Shreveport
Louisiana Small College Coach of the Year: Kyle Blankenship, LSU-Shreveport
Louisiana Junior College Player of the Year: Jeffrey Walker, Baton Rouge
Louisiana Junior College Coach of the Year: Ricky Wilson, Baton Rouge
Louisiana High School Players of the Year:
Class AAAAA: Damian Jones, Scotlandville
Class AAAA: Trey Touchet, St. Thomas More
Class AAA: Xairius Larry, Farmerville
Class AA: Von Julien, Riverside
Class A: Scott Plaisance, Metairie Park Country Day
Class B: Jarell Martin, Madison Prep
Class C: Zikiteran Woodley, Pelican
Louisiana High School Coaches of the Year:
Class AAAAA: Carlos Sample, Scotlandville
Class AAAA: Devan Clark, Northside
Class AAA: Johnny Simmons, Farmerville
Class AA: Byron King, Winnfield
Class A: Mike McGuire, Metairie Park Country Day
Class B: Jeff Jones, Madison Prep
Class C: Richard Simmons, Pelican