Sophomore Guard Eric Gillespie.

Men’s Basketball Team’s Gillespie Named First Team NJCAA All-American

The Triton College men’s basketball team recently concluded its best season in program history with a 34-3 record and a national runner-up finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II tournament. One of the catalysts behind the Trojans record-breaking season was guard Eric Gillespie.

The sophomore out of Warren Township High School was the glue that held the team together on both ends of the floor. Gillespie’s speed and play-making ability earned him several awards. On April 6, Gillespie received the ultimate individual honor as he was named a NJCAA Division II first team All-American.

Gillespie becomes the 218th NJCAA All-American in Triton’s history and the ninth student-athlete representing the men’s basketball program. Bryant Orange, who was a part of the Trojans third place team at nationals in 2011 was the last men’s basketball player to earn the distinguished honor.

 “Being named first team All-American is really a blessing for me,” Gillespie said. “I feel like it’s more than an individual award because my teammates and coaches have pushed me all season as well as my family.”

During the season, Gillespie led Triton in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per game, while starting 34 of the team’s 37 games. Gillespie tallied at least 20 points 10 times, including a season-high 32 points last December vs. McHenry County College.

The All-American selection capped a year that saw Gillespie named Region IV all-region first team, North Central Community College Conference (N4C) Most Valuable Player and first team. In addition, Gillespie was voted to the all-tournament teams at both the Region IV and NJCAA National tournaments.

"I'm very proud of the hard work put in and sacrifices made by Eric Gillespie,” said Trojans head coach Steve Christiansen.“ He has been a pleasure to coach and during his two seasons at Triton has helped raise our program to even greater heights. He is very deserving of all the accolades he has received, including NJCAA first team All-American.”

Gillespie, a sports management major, will graduate with his Associate in Arts from Triton in May. He will continue his athletic and academic career at NCAA Division II St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind.

For more information on Triton College Athletics, contact Triton College Athletic Director Harry McGinnis at (708) 4560300, Ext. 3784, or visit