By: Dana Becker, The Messenger Sports Reporter
Tray Croft secured one more honor before leaving Iowa Central for the University of Northern Iowa, as the sophomore basketball player was presented with the Mike Algoe Award, given annually to the school's top male athlete.
Croft was named the NJCAA Div. II Player of the Year and earned first team All-American honors after setting several records on the hardwood over his two-year career.
He is the first basketball player to earn the Algoe since Matt Johnson shared the award in 2002 with current Iowa Central head baseball coach Justin Meyer. Croft is the 14th basketball player winner all-time.
"Knowing that I was voted the top male athlete of the school means a lot because the coaches here voted for me," said Croft, who has committed to continue his basketball career at UNI in the fall. "It really helps me to know that they believed in me just like I believed in myself."
Along with setting new single-season (854) and career (1,626) records for points scored, Croft tied the single-game mark when he had 54 vs. Iowa Lakes. He went over 33 points 13 other times during his run with the Tritons.
He also ranks first in single-season 3-pointers (106), career triples (176), assists (270) and single-game made free throws (17). Croft is fourth on the steals list with 82.
"I think what set myself apart was I worked harder and gave everything I got because I wasn't looking at any awards," Croft said. "I just knew hard work would make them come my way."
The Tritons won 32 games over the past two seasons, including their first 20-win season since 2013-14 by posting a 21-12 record. They advanced to the Region XI championship game, as well.
"These past two years at Iowa Central taught me a lot," Croft said. "They showed me that I can do anything I put my mind to and that anything is possible if you have faith."
The Algoe Award is voted on by the Iowa Central athletic department and given out yearly to a sophomore athlete that has represented the school positively on the field and off of it.
MIKE ALGOE AWARD WINNERS (TOP MALE ATHLETE AT ICCC)
2018 — Tray Croft, Basketball
2017 — Jared Seay, Track and Field
2016 — Tyler Hoffman, Wrestling
2015 — Blake Whalen, Cross Country/Track and Field
2014 — Cody Brandau, Bowling/Golf
2013 — Will Kenny, Baseball
2012 — Stanley Kebenei, Track and Field/Cross Country
2011 — Joey Flattery, Baseball and Tomas Cotter, Track and Field/Cross Country
2010 — Wilmot Wellington, Football/Track and Field
2009 — Joshua Sawe, Cross Country/Track and Field
2008 — Hillary Samoei, Cross Country/Track and Field
2007 — Sam Lambert, Track and Field
2006 — Tim Flattery, Baseball
2005 — Lee Elbert, Track and Field and Brock Iverson, Baseball
2004 — Justin Sokol, Baseball
2003 — Vahn Schumacher, Football
2002 — Matt Johnson, Basketball and Justin Meyer, Baseball
2001 — Nathan McClain, Wrestling
2000 — Willie McGowan, Soccer
1999 — Adam Wilde, Basketball
1998 — Ben Smith, Football
1997 — Matt Gast, Baseball
1996 — Todd Westphal, Wrestling
1995 — Ryan King, Basketball
1994 — Rich Martin, Basketball
1993 — Erik Josephson, Wrestling
1992 — Steve Kelly, Wrestling
1991 — Broderick Powell, Basketball
1990 — Don Tyndall, Basketball
1989 — Paul Weltha, Wrestling/Football
1988 — Bob Brower, Basketball
1987 — Ray Carreathers, Football
1986 — Randy Reitsma, Basketball
1985 — Steve Brown, Basketball
1984 — Larry Parrott and Greg Yergler, Basketball
1983 — Jon Cook, Wrestling
1982 — Craig Aljets, Basketball
1981 — Kevin Russell, Wrestling
1980 — Will Shupe, Football
1979 — Craig Light, Football
1978 — Kraig Knutson, Basketball
1977 — Tony Iliano, Baseball and Football
1976 — Earl Matthews, Football
1975 — Craig Michehl, Basketball
1974 — Tom Williams, Football
1973 — Jeff Gilligan, Football
1972 — Gary Fitzgerald, Football
1971 — Walt Fieseler, Football