(Shamorie Ponds – @StJohnsBball)
The Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA) awarded St. John’s sophomore Shamorie Ponds with the Haggerty Award presented annually to New York City’s collegiate player of the year.
Ponds becomes the 23rd player in St. John’s history, including the third Red Storm player in the last five years to receive the award named in honor of St. John’s basketball and baseball star Lieutenant Frank J. Haggerty.
The Brooklyn native was recognized last Wednesday at the 85th NIT/MBWA All-Met College Basketball Awards Dinner in Tarrytown, N.Y.
Dating back to 1936, St. John’s has had a student-athlete receive the Haggerty Award on 27 occasions, the most winners among all metropolitan men’s basketball programs. Ponds is just the fifth Johnnie to receive the honor as an underclassman, as he joins a revered list that also includes Dick McGuire, Bill Kotsores, the former Ron Artest and current Red Storm head coach Chris Mullin, a three-time winner.
A two-time All-Met First Team selection, Ponds is the first St. John’s player to earn the area’s player of the year honors since Sir’Dominic Pointer brought the hardware back to Queens in 2015. Justin Simon will also be recognized on Wednesday night, as the sophomore guard from Temecula, Calif. was selected to the All-Met Second Team.
The first Johnnie to land a spot on the All-Big East First Team since D’Angelo Harrison in 2015, Ponds led the conference in scoring with 21.6 points per game this past season. The 6-foot-1 guard poured in 647 points, the eighth-most for a single season in St. John’s men’s basketball history. Ponds recorded double-figures in 27 of his 30 appearances in 2017-18, including 16 20-point efforts and six 30-point performances.
Ponds led the Red Storm in scoring 21 times last season, including three-straight standout performances in early February that garnered national attention. The Brooklyn native kicked off his hot stretch with 33 points against No. 4/5 Duke to lead the Red Storm to an 81-77 victory at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 3. Four days later, Ponds dropped 26 points to knock off No. 1/1 Villanova in Philadelphia marking the Red Storm’s first victory over the nation’s top team since 1985. He capped this impressive run by setting a Carnesecca Arena/Alumni Hall record with 44 points in a win over Marquette on Feb. 10.
In conference action, Ponds was top-10 in the Big East in scoring (21.9 ppg), assists (5.1 apg), free-throw percentage (84.7 pct) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7 A/TO), while also leading the league in minutes per game (37.8 mpg).
This past season, Ponds joined an elite fraternity becoming the 10th player in program history to join the 1,000-point club in his second season at St. John’s. Ponds has scored 1,220 points during his two years in Queens and his 122 threes are tied for seventh on the Red Storm’s career chart.