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Eastern Washington's Tanner Groves named Big Sky MVP

The Spokane native and Shadle Park graduate becomes the fourth Eags player in five years to receive the honor.

CHENEY, Wash. — Eastern Washington forward and Spokane native Tanner Groves was named Big Sky Conference Most Valuable Player for the 2020-2021 season on Monday morning.

The Shadle Park graduate became the fourth Eags player in five years to win league MVP. He was also selected to the All-Conference first team,

"It's really cool being the hometown guy and winning such an honor," he said.

Groves was fifth in the conference in scoring (16.7 PPG), second in field goal percentage (.570), second in rebounds (7.9 RPG) and eighth in blocks (.95 BPG).

"I've put in a lot of hard work," he said. "It's just a testament to hard work does pay off." 

He's currently a redshirt junior, which means it's possible that next season he could repeat as league MVP next season.

Only three players have ever won multiple Big Sky MVPs. The last being NBA All-Star Damian Lillard who did it at Weber State in 2010 and 2012. A player hasn't gone back to back for the award since 2000.

"That'd be really cool," Groves said. "I'm just going to keep working on my game, keep improving. I'm going to continue working and see what happens."

Groves wasn't the only Eags player honored by the conference.

His teammate Kim Aiken Jr. was also selected for the first team and won Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year. Eastern's Tyler Robertson also received honors as Big Sky Top  Reserve for this season.