INDIANAPOLIS – Hanover men's basketball senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio) has been announced as the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's Male Athlete of the Year for the 2018-19 season.
The HCAC Athlete of the Year award is now in its sixth year of existence, with the honor voted on by the conference institution's sports information directors. Fails is the second Hanover athlete to receive the award, with former teammate Wes McKinney also doing so in 2016-17. With two of the six awards, the Panthers are now tied with Franklin for the most all-time on the men's side.
In his final season at Hanover, Fails averaged 20.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game, all of which were career-high marks. The senior also paced the HCAC in scoring, becoming the first Hanover player to do so in over a decade. For his efforts, Fails was named HCAC regular season and tournament most valuable player for the second consecutive season. During the regular season, Fails averaged nearly 22 points and six assists per game in HCAC contests. He also tallied 30 points in the HCAC Tournament Finals, including 24 in the second half, as HC defeated Transylvania, 76-73.
To go along with his conference awards, the senior was selected to two preseason all-American teams, as well as a pair of postseason all-American teams. D3hoops.com named him their Great Lakes regional player of the year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) made him the first Hanover Panther to be picked to play in the NCAA Division III Reese's All-Star Game. Fails was also a national finalist for two prestigious individual awards, the Jostens Trophy, given to the top Division III player for performance on the court, in the classroom and in the community, as well as the Bevo Francis award, given to the top small college basketball player in NCAA Division II or III, NAIA, NCCAA, NJCAA or USCAA.
The senior scored 20 or more points in 26 of 28 games played this past winter, including eight straight appearances in December and January, while also topping 30 points on three different occasions. In a 72-68, come-from-behind win over Rose-Hulman, Fails scored or assisted on 31 of the team's final 35 points to finish with 24 points and 11 assists, which was one of two double-doubles for him this season. The senior also scored all 22 of his points in the second half of a 62-58 road win at Caltech, a game HC erased a 24-point deficit in. Fails had tied his career scoring high with 32 points the day prior in an 80-79 win at Whittier (Calif.).
Behind Fails, the Panthers enjoyed their third straight regular season and tournament HCAC championships. The Blue and Red finished 21-7 overall, marking three straight seasons of 20-plus wins, a feat that has now been accomplished just five times in program history. The 2018-19 campaign was also the 20th 20-win season for the Panthers.
After scoring at least 540 points in each of his final two campaigns, Fails finishes his career at Hanover with 1,780 points. He ranks fifth all-time in program history, which has been in existence for over 125 years. During his time at Hanover, the Panthers posted an overall record of 83-30 (.735) and made three national tournament appearances, including a run to the Elite Eight in 2016-17.
Fails was also recently selected as Hanover's co-most outstanding senior male athlete, sharing the honor with cross country and track & field standout, Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.).
Contact: Tyler Jester