Mesa’s Box makes All-America team for second straight year

Braden Box was selected to the Daktronics All-America third team on Friday, making the team as a second baseman one year after making the Daktronics second team as a shortstop.

Braden Box wasn’t a highly recruited player, but he proved he could play.

The Colorado Mesa University senior made the Daktronics All-America team for the second consecutive year, but at a different position.

Box made the third team as a second baseman after making the second team in 2012 at shortstop. The 2013 team was announced Friday.

“That’s a pretty good player,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said of Box. “He’s a team guy. He even played a little third. He has incredible work ethic and spirit. He loves to practice and play baseball.”

Box hit .407 with 42 RBI and 24 stolen bases with a .453 on-base percentage. He set the Mesa career record for stolen bases with 75.

“It’s great,” Box said. “It’s kind of a tribute to all the hard work I put in. It’s great to make it as a senior. It solidifies the work you put in on my career.

“My goal was to be an All-American. You always want to be the best at what you do. The position didn’t matter.”

The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder thrived on proving himself, beginning in high school and again at Tacoma (Wash.) Community College.

“All throughout high school, I felt like I was a good player but never the All-Star,” Box said. “I was never recruited by many schools. I proved myself at Tacoma. When I came to Mesa I had a chip on my shoulder to play at Mesa. I wanted to prove I had what it took to be a good infielder.”

He proved he could play in the infield and play it well.

Box isn’t expected to be drafted in the Major League Baseball draft next week, but he hopes someone will pick him up and give him a chance to play professionally.

He graduated this semester with a degree in sports management. The Twin Falls, Idaho, native has remained in town.

“Right now, I’m going to start a life,” Box said. “If I get an opportunity, I’d love an opportunity to play. If don’t, I’ll move on to the next thing. Maybe I’ll coach someday.”

Box is the Mavericks’ eighth Daktronics All-American since 2007.


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