Kennedy wins SSAC coach of the year, Burns named defensive player of the year


Zach Wrightsil (23) handles the ball during a Jan. 22 victory against Stillman in the Den. Wrightsil was named First Team All-SSAC on March 3, making him one of eight members of the Loyola basketball program to earn All-Conference honors this season. Photo credit: Maria Paula Marino

Brendan Heffernan

Loyola women’s basketball head coach Kellie Kennedy was awarded the SSAC Coach of the Year award after leading the Wolf Pack to their fifth conference title in the last seven seasons and a 20-1 overall record going into the NAIA National Championship Tournament. Kennedy also won SSAC Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 season according to Wolf Pack Athletics.

After being named SSAC Tournament MVP last week, sophomore forward Sandra Cannady was named the SSAC Newcomer of the Year. Cannady transferred to Loyola after playing her freshmen season for NCAA Division 1 Sam Houston University.

Five members of the Wolf Pack women’s basketball team earned All-SSAC honors. Sophomore Taylor Thomas, senior Presley Wascom and junior Kennedy Hansberry were named to the All-Conference First Team. Cannady was named Second Team All-Conference and Jazmene McMillian earned a spot on the SSAC All-Freshmen team.

Players from Loyola’s men’s basketball team also brought home several season-end honors. Junior Myles Burns was named co-defensive player of the year, sharing the honor with the University of Mobile’s RJ Kelly. Burns has now won the SSAC DPOY award in all three of his seasons with the Wolf Pack. Burns is the all-time steals leader in Loyola basketball history.

Burns and junior Zach Wrightsil each earned First Team All-SSAC honors while junior Terry Smith Jr. was named Second Team All-Conference. The Wolf Pack men’s basketball team was also awarded the SSAC West Sportsmanship Award.

Sixteen members of the Loyola basketball program earned Academic All-SSAC honors. Each team led the SSAC in Academic All-Conference selections, with six men and ten women earning the award.