One of the brightest stars on Northeast Mississippi Community College’s championship teams over the past two seasons can now officially place himself among the best athletes in program history.
Leroy Buchanan was honored with All-American recognition from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) following his phenomenal final season with the Tigers.
“This is a great accomplishment and major award,” said Northeast head coach Cord Wright. “I am so proud of him as a player for all his hard work and dedication to his game. Shaq will always be remembered as one of the great players at Northeast. This is a great day for us all.”
Buchanan was the focal point of one of the most successful two-year periods ever for the Tigers, who claimed a region and division championship during his tenure in the City of Hospitality.
He led Northeast in most every major statistical category during his sophomore campaign. Buchanan was the only player to earn the starting nod from Wright in all 29 contests this season.
The Madison Central High School graduate topped the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division champions with 18.4 points per game on 6.1 made field goals. He also averaged team-highs of seven rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.5 blocks and 32.1 minutes.
Buchanan compiled a solid 45.8 field goal percentage with a 31.5 percent ledger from beyond the arc. His 72 percent mark at the charity stripe and 3.3 assists were both the third highest on the squad as well.
He reached the double figure plateau in all but one outing this year. Buchanan saved his best performance for last in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 title game with a career-best 34 points on 11-of-17 shooting.
Buchanan surpassed 30 points in a single matchup four times total, including a 31-point showing in a win over Bethel (Tenn.) University’s junior varsity unit and a 32-point effort during a victory versus Motlow State (Tenn.) Community College in November.
He exceeded 20 points in a game 11 times during his final hoorah on the Booneville campus and on 17 separate occasions overall. Buchanan added six double-doubles, including two this season in contests at Northwest Mississippi Community College and Volunteer State (Tenn.) Community College.
Buchanan tied a season-high with six assists on three different instances. He also had a career-best five blocks during the Tallahassee Democrat Holiday Classic against host Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College.
The 6-3, 185-pound guard was a three-time MACJC Player of the Week winner throughout the 2016-17 campaign. His last such distinction came after the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament where he averaged 22.3 points over the span of three matchups.
Buchanan surpassed the illustrious 500-point plateau for his career barely one month into the season during Northeast’s triumph over West Kentucky Community and Technical College.
He eventually tallied 534 points as a sophomore alone to become the first 500-point scorer in a single year for the Tigers since Travis Lee posted 585 nearly a decade ago during the 2007-08 campaign.
Buchanan was the second Northeast standout in as many seasons to register over 200 rebounds. The 202 boards that he grabbed were tied for the most by any Tiger in over a decade.
He tallied sensational career numbers while donning a black-and-gold uniform, including 927 points, 361 rebounds, 315 made baskets, 238 true free throws, 169 assists, 104 steals and 58 blocks.
“I give all the glory to the Man upstairs for giving me the talent and ability to play the sport I love,” Buchanan said. “I also give all the thanks to my teammates for pushing me plus coaches Wright and (Kyle) Morris for staying on me. I can say I gave Northeast my all.”
Buchanan was a MACJC All-State selection as a freshman. He averaged 14 points and 5.7 boards to help the Tigers capture the NJCAA Region 23 title and a trip to Hutchinson, Kan., for the national tournament.
The Madison native recorded a double-double inside the historic Sports Arena with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a heartbreaking loss to eventual national champion Salt Lake (Utah) Community College.
Buchanan is the seventeenth Northeast men’s basketball student-athlete to collect All-American accolades from the NJCAA, which is the most of any program in the Magnolia State.
He follows in the footsteps of Dimario Jackson, who was the last Tiger to receive All-American honors in 2015 and recently wrapped up a successful stint at the University of North Alabama.
The list of All-Americans at Northeast also includes 1966 NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP), Olympic gold medalist, NCAA champion and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Adrian Smith plus Gene Garrett, who was named the MVP of the 1950 NJCAA National Tournament.
Buchanan signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) with mid-major power Murray State (Ky.) University, which was a semifinalist in the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Tournament, prior to the start of his sophomore year.
CUTLINES (PHOTOS: Michael H. Miller/Northeast Public Information)
Northeast Mississippi Community College guard Leroy Buchanan shoots over an Itawamba Community College defender during a February matchup between the two rivals. Buchanan, who is a native of Madison, was selected as an All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Head shot of Leroy Buchanan, who is the 17th National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American in program history and the second in the last three seasons.