NewsMVNU Men's Basketball Team Lands First Recruit for 2005-2006
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s basketball team has landed its first recruit for the 2005-2006 season with the addition of Ben Falkenberg, who has decided to further his education and continue his basketball career with the Cougars after transferring to MVNU from the United States Naval Academy.
Falkenberg, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Wadsworth, Ohio, averaged 21.3 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.9 steals per game as a senior at Wadsworth High School in 2003-2004 while shooting 49.4 percent from the field, 48.6 percent from three-point range, and 90.2 percent at the free throw line. For his efforts during the season that helped his team to a 20-3 record, Falkenberg was named to the Division I All-Ohio First Team, the Cleveland Plain Dealer First Team, the Sun Newspapers First Team, and the Medina County First Team. He also was selected as the Akron Beacon Journal Player of the Year, the Greater Akron Basketball Coaches Association Senior Player of the Year, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Medina, Summit, and Portage Counties Player of the Year, and the Northeast Ohio Inland District Co-Player of the Year.
For his career, Falkenberg guided Wadsworth High to a 57-10 record in his three years as the starting point guard that included a 20-0 regular-season record in 2002-2003. He shot 50.6 percent from the three-point arc (123-of-253) and 89.4 percent from the free throw line (219-for-245) for his career. His career free throw percentage would rank first in Ohio high school history if he would have attempted five more free throws to meet the minimum attempts of 250. He ranks third in school history with 1,031 career points, and he set the school single-game scoring record with a district tournament-record 46 points against Hudson High School on March 6, 2004.
"Ben will be a great addition to our team,” said MVNU head coach Scott Flemming. "I have had my eye on him since his sophomore year in high school. Because he is transferring in the middle of the year, he will be able to practice with us the rest of this year and then have freshman eligibility next season. He has the ability to make an immediate impact.”
"Ben is a point guard who has the skills to play the shooting guard position as well,” Flemming added. "He is a scoring point guard who can also get his teammates involved. His outstanding academic achievements and his Christian background make him a great fit for our university.”
In addition to playing basketball, Falkenberg was involved in Principal’s Leadership Academy and was a member of National Honor Society with a 4.05 grade point average. He received the "I Dare You” Leadership Award and the United States Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award as well as being one of only 10 players to be named to the Division I Academic All-Ohio Boy’s Basketball Team in 2003-2004.
"MVNU offers several things that I wanted out of a college,” said Falkenberg. "First, it has a great Christian environment that I know I will enjoy. Second, Coach Flemming and the team played a large role because I see myself fitting in well. Finally, it is close enough to Wadsworth so my family can come watch me play.”
The Cougars, who posted a 23-13 overall record in 2003-2004 to mark the seventh time in the past eight years that the team has topped the 20-win mark, are currently 11-4 as the team is in the midst of an 18-day break between games due to the holidays. MVNU will return to action on Tuesday, January 4, with a 7:30 p.m. American Mideast Conference South Division game against Walsh University, who is ranked 23rd in the latest NAIA Division II poll.