Aaron Walton‑Moss has made history.
A history that almost wasn’t made.
The Cabrini College Men’s Basketball junior has been named Division III Player of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
This is the first time a Cabrini College student‑athlete has received this highest national honor in the sport.
“I am truly honored to receive this award,” Walton‑Moss said upon receiving the news. “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the entire Cabrini community.”
A January 24 profile of Walton-Moss in the Philadelphia Daily News recounts the hoops star’s unlikely journey from the streets of Camden to the serene 112‑acre campus of Cabrini College on Philadelphia’s Main Line.
His journey was ripe with obstacles that could have derailed his rise to court domination.
And dominate he did. Walton‑Moss, the two‑time Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Player of the Year, had arguably the best individual season in the 29‑year history of the Cabrini Men’s Basketball team.
Walton-Moss set the program’s new single season scoring record with 594 total points. He closed the season ranking fifth in Division III with 24.8 points per game while ranking in the nation’s top 20 in seven other categories.
He also was named Mid‑Atlantic Player of the Year and a First Team All‑American.
More than the statistics and awards, it was Walton-Moss’ play on the court that led to numerous “oohs” and “aahs” among the crowds in Nerney Field House. His jumpers, no-look passes, and drives to the basket often brought crowds to their feet.
Quoted in the Daily News profile, Cabrini Men’s Basketball coach Marcus Kahn said of Walton‑Moss, “Obviously, basketball is a part of it. But he’s such an engaging young man. And 90 percent of the people here [at Cabrini] don’t really care what he does on the court.”
“He's opened my eyes to a lot of things. I don’t know what it's like to get a call saying your best friend's been shot, and your cousin was just shot,” Kahn said.
“Here’s a kid who’s succeeding, for the first time. That’s the better story.” Walton‑Moss would agree, telling the Daily News, “I know what it's like to score a lot of baskets," he said. “Now I know what it's like to do well on a test.” And he’s gained some perspective on his talents. “Basketball can get you somewhere, but you find out there's more to it than that,” he was quoted in the Daily News.
“I didn’t know anything about Cabrini when I got here. It's hard. It’s what you make of it ... If you want to play ball, you can’t do it without putting in the schoolwork too.”
Walton-Moss’ historic basketball career is still being written, as he plans to continue with the Cabrini Cavaliers next season for his senior year.
“I am excited for what is to come and I am looking forward to another successful year,” he said. He will receive his award on Sunday at the AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show in Dallas, Texas. He will be honored along with Division I Player of the Year, Doug McDermott, from Creighton and Division II Player of the Year, Brandon Jefferson, from Metropolitan State. Walton-Moss and the Cavaliers finished with a 26‑2 record during the 2013‑14 campaign, capturing their fifth consecutive CSAC championship and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
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