Brookdale (NJ) point guard Kevin Mateo has been named the 2023 NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.
“Kevin Mateo is a great player with the ability to lead any team to its highest points,” said Brookdale head men’s basketball coach Paul Cisek.
The sophomore guard averaged 17.3 points per game and shot 35.5% from behind the arc. Mateo also averaged 5.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game for the Jersey Blues. Starting all 25 games this season for Brookdale, Mateo also averaged 2.8 steals per game for the future national champs.
They were a central piece in the Jersey Blues national championship squad, leading them in scoring throughout the season. Mateo was named Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season.
After an impressive run in the North Atlantic District Tournament, Mateo was able to lead Brookdale to its first district championship since 2018 by holding off nationally-ranked Northampton (PA). Mateo scored 20 points in the matchup, while also earning four assists and four steals.
“His stats are very impressive but his overall leadership will be hard to replace. He is that piece to the puzzle that every coach looks for,” said Coach Cisek.
Entering the national tournament as the No. 3 overall seed, Mateo was a force throughout the national tournament for Brookdale. In the quarterfinal game, the guard scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds. The Jersey Blues won in the quarterfinal over DuPage before leading them to a semifinal win over Rochester. Mateo saved his best game for the national championship, where he scored a game-high 31 points on 43% shooting. He made four clutch free throws to help secure the third championship title in program history and was named Tournament Most Valuable Player.
17.3 points per game
5.2 assists per game
2.8 steals per game
84.8% free throws (12th in the nation)
2022-23 GSAC Player of the Year
2022-23 First-Team NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball All-America Selection
2022-23 NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball Championship Most Valuable Player
2022-23 NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball National Champion