Javion Ogunyemi and Ida Krogh have been selected as the December recipients of the Siena College Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month award. Each has played leading roles for Siena's basketball teams on the court while excelling in the classroom.
Ogunyemi (Troy, N.Y.) is averaging 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds as the starting center for the Saints. He's come on strong recently, averaging 11.2 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds over the last five games and is third in the MAAC in field goal percentage (54.4%). Ogunyemi has reached double figures in four of the last five games after doing so just twice in the first 38 games of his career. He has 107 points in 13 games played this season after scoring just 56 in 30 games played as a freshman last year.
Ogunyemi posted a 3.07 grade point average this fall, raising his cumulative GPA to 3.02 in creative arts.
"It's like climbing Mount Everest, it's harder as you go up," men's basketball coach Jimmy Patsos said. "I think Javion has done a great job. He's a really smart kid. Smart guys figure it out. He's figuring out it's harder as you become the guy, because the focus on you. He's fun to coach, I like watching him grow."
Krogh (Aarhus, Denmark) is averaging 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and a team-best 4.1 assists per game and is a major reason for the on-court success the women's basketball team has enjoyed so far. Krogh took over as the team's starting point guard after Brianna Logan tore her ACL in the Saints' first official practice of the season. Despite playing a position she never had in college, Krogh led the Saints to a 7-2 non-conference record and was named MAAC Player of the Week for the first time in her career December 29 after leading the Saints to an 80-68 win over Colgate with a career-high 27 points.
"Ida has really come on strong and it's so great to see her have success, because of everything she's been through," women's basketball coach Ali Jaques said. "I love the kid. Ida is different. She has to think the game and her basketball IQ is very high. We've asked her to go from being a post player to being a point guard. I'm not sure there's many players across the country that could make that adjustment. She has and she's never complained about it, and she's only tried to get better at it.
From an academic standpoint, to be a European kid where English is your second language, she comes in and does a great job in the classroom. Our players really listen to her, and it's just good to see her have this kind of success."
The Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month Award is presented nine times annually (September-May) throughout the academic year. The award recognizes exemplary achievements in both academics and athletics. The late Leo Dufort received a B.S. in marketing and management from Siena in August of 1977. His entire academic career was completed on a part-time basis beginning in the spring of 1961, as a married adult while at the same time raising five children. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack while cross country skiing in February of 1993. His wife Jeanine wanted to do something to immortalize his memory. The original plaque was donated to athletics and the department began the Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month Award to help carry out his legacy. Dufort graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1954, was a Navy Veteran (USS Bennington) who worked for JL Hammett Co. at the time of his death.