Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Indiana Wesleyan guard Kyle Mangas named NAIA D-II Player of Year, finds identity in Christ

Following a season in which he averaged 26.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, Indiana Wesleyan junior Kyle Mangas was named NAIA Division II Player of the Year on Thursday. Mangas is the first Indiana Wesleyan athlete to earn national player of the year honors in any sport.

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“This award goes way beyond me,” he said in a video message. “I want it to represent the entire team’s efforts to achieve such a successful season.”

Mangas led the Wildcats to a 29-4 record this season as they claimed at least a share of the Crossroads League regular-season championship for the third straight year. He became the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,479 career points, finishing second in the NAIA in total points (860) and third in points per game.

The Warsaw, Indiana, native also expressed his gratitude for the role his coaches and teammates have played in his walk with Christ in the video.

“Most importantly, thank you for growing alongside me in my walk with Christ,” Mangas said. “You have all helped me understand that my identity is not just a basketball player but also a son, brother, friend and child of God.”

As a freshman in 2018, Mangas scored 23 points in an 84-71 victory over Saint Francis (Ind.) to give Indiana Wesleyan its third national championship in five years. With this season’s tournament canceled due to the coronavirus, he will have one more shot at a second national title as a senior.

Mangas might not be done collecting accolades quite yet this year, though. He was named to the top-25 watchlist for the Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award, given to the player with the best overall season in Small College Basketball. The finalists for the award are revealed on April 4 and the winner is announced on April 6.

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