For the second straight season, Zieja was the only NESCAC player to earn Academic All-District honors.
Zieja Named Men's Basketball CoSIDA/Verizon Academic All-District for Second Consecutive Season
February 20, 2003
AMHERST, MA - For the second consecutive season, Amherst College senior tri-captain forward Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA) was the only player from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) named Verizon Academic All-District 1 for men’s basketball (college division), as selected and announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday. Zieja was a first-team selection after earning second-team honors as a junior, which automatically places him on the national ballot for CoSIDA/Verizon Academic All-America consideration.
“Stephen’s extremely focused on his major (Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought) and has taken a keen interest in academic achievement,” says Amherst head coach David Hixon ’75. “He embodies the qualities in a student-athlete we try to combine at Amherst; academic and athletic excellence.”
Zieja, a preseason All-American and a two-year captain, has helped lead the 10th-ranked Jeffs to a 20-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament. Amherst opens tournament play Saturday at 3 p.m. against visiting No. 8 seed Bowdoin College. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for students with valid ID. The game will be Webcast live on the Internet by campus radio station WAMH (visit Amherst's main athletics page for details). With a first-round win over Bowdoin, Amherst will host the NESCAC semifinals and championship game the following Saturday and Sunday.
Along with fellow senior tri-captains Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC) and Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, NH), Zieja has led the Jeffs to a school-record 83 wins (and counting) over four seasons, claiming two straight NESCAC Championships and a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances along the way. Zieja is a two-time All-NESCAC selection and is Amherst's all-time leading scorer (with 1,601 points) and career leader in free throws made (361). He was also selected First-Team All-Region, All-ECAC and All-District as a junior.
Zieja is currently fourth in the NESCAC in FT% (.804), sixth in scoring (16.9 pts/gm), eighth in FG% (.516), 11th in offensive rebounding (2.35 rebs/gm) and 16th in total rebounding (6.7 rebs/gm).
2002-03 Verizon Academic District 1 College Division Men's Basketball Team
Thomas Carey (Suffolk)
Kris Hebert (Western New England)
Brian Larrabbee (S. New Hampshire)
Fran Zablocki (Nazareth)
Steve Zieja (Amherst)
Kyle Doherty (MIT)
Uri Grunwald (UMass Lowell)
Elad Inbar (UMass Lowell)
Ethan Slavin (Westfield St.)
Christian Turner (SUNY Potsdam)