The Daily Aztec’s January Athlete of the Month

by Staff

—RYAN SCHULER, SPORTS EDITOR

—ADRIANA BUSH, ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

Male Athlete: Jamaal Franklin02_06_13_Sports_Mbball21_PN

In January, the San Diego State men’s basketball team went 5-2 overall and 4-3 in Mountain West Conference play thanks in large part to junior guard Jamaal Franklin.

Through 21 games this season, Franklin led the Aztecs with 17.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, which is the reason why Franklin was selected as The Daily Aztec Male Athlete of the Month for January.

Several performances stick out for Franklin in January, including his 20-point, 18-rebound game against Fresno State. In that game, Franklin threw down perhaps the dunk of the year, when he threw a ball off of the backboard in transition, caught the ball between three defenders and dunked the ball for a one-man alley-oop. In addition, his 18 rebounds were a career-high.

In his next two games against Colorado State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Franklin scored 23 and 27 points, respectively, to lead the team. He scored in double-digits and grabbed at least seven rebounds in all seven of January’s games.

The All-American candidate finished January averaging 17.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

For his efforts in January, Franklin was also named the MW Co-Player of the Week, along with the University of New Mexico’s Alex Kirk. It was SDSU’s first honor of the season.

Currently, Franklin leads the team in field goals made (107), free throw attempts (148), free throws made (117), assists (70), steals (31) and minutes (663).

Female Athlete: Chelsea Hopkins02_06_13_Sports_Wbball1_PN

Senior point guard Chelsea Hopkins is an Aztec student-athlete unlike any other. Since transferring from Duke University, Hopkins has proven to be an outstanding leader on and off the court.  Hopkins’ persistence, drive and devotion to the game of basketball and her team are what make her such a powerful player.

The women’s basketball season isn’t close to its end and already Hopkins tops the Mountain West by averaging 13.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the country. Hopkins received back-to-back MW Player of the Week honors in the month of January, giving her a total of five so far in her career. For her efforts in January, Hopkins is The Daily Aztec Athlete of the Month.

Hopkins is also a national leader because of her three triple-doubles this season. The first one against came against Southern Methodist University in nonconference play, followed by triple-doubles against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno.

Hopkins scored a career-high 25 points against the Nevada Wolf Pack and has hit double-digit scoring totals in 16 of the 20 games she has played this season. In January, Hopkins led the Aztecs to a 6-1 record, including a 5-1 record in conference play.

But her success doesn’t end there: On Monday, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced that Hopkins is one of eight added to the State Farm Wade Watch list. Only one NCAA Division I women’s basketball player receives the Wade Trophey each year. That winner will be selected in April.

Hopkins’ determination to win and help her teammates is sure to carry the Aztecs to a conference title and hopefully a national title.