MARION – Kyle Mangas should be used to this, but Monday bestowed his another opportunity to work on his award acceptance speeches.
Mangas was named the 2020 Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award winner Monday night by the Small College Basketball and National Awards Committee. The award, which was whittled down to 14 finalists Saturday, encompasses nominees from several levels of small college basketball in the United States.
“I want to thank my family, coaches and teammates for helping me grow on and off the court this year,” Mangas said. “I am extremely grateful for their dedication and accountability. Small College Basketball is an incredible organization with great tradition who provides coverage to and supports college basketball teams across America. It is a tremendous honor to be named the Bevo Francis award winner for 2020.”
Mangas was already named the NAIA National Player of the Year earlier this year, as well as the Crossroads League Player of the Year as a standout for Indiana Wesleyan University. Statistically, the junior combo guard averaged 26 points, six rebounds, and four assists per-game, all career highs. His 860 total points placed him second in the NAIA in total scoring while finishing third in points-per-game. Named NAIA Player of the Week twice this season, Mangas finished the season ranked in the NAIA Top-30 in eight statistical categories. Leading the League with six Player of the Week awards, Mangas led the Crossroads League in points-per-game, total points scored, and field goals made while boasting six double-doubles.
Also a go-getter in the classroom, Mangas was named a CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team selection in addition to all of the basketball awards. He carries a 3.66 GPA in finance.
“School is the absolute top priority for me,” Mangas said. “The life of a student-athlete is difficult, but I make sure to get ahead on all of my school activities and spend time on my work each day. Getting my work done efficiently and early is key for me. That is a testament to how my parents raised me and to my brother (Jake) who is my role model. He was the valedictorian at Warsaw in 2015.”
Mangas led Indiana Wesleyan to a 29-4 record and a top seed in the NAIA Division II national tournament. Wesleyan had not played a game before the tournament was canceled in mid-March. The Wildcats won its third straight Crossroads League title prior to the national tournament berth.
“There isn’t anything that numbs the pain of having your season taken from you, especially at the national tournament,” Mangas said. “I just want individual awards to reflect the team success we were able to have throughout the year.”
The Clarence “Bevo” Francis Award is presented annually to the player who has had the finest overall season within Small College Basketball. Considerations are season statistics and individual achievements, awards, personal character and team achievements. This is an incredibly prestigious award, as this award is only given to one player within Small College Basketball per season.
Mangas, a 2017 Warsaw Community High School graduate, fits the bill well.
“My mindset is to remain humble about it,” Mangas said of winning another national honor. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but it is instead thinking of yourself less. There have been a good amount of awards that have came my way, but I still put my focus on others like my team and family.”