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Tarke brothers, Anthony and Nendah, win MEAC Player and Rookie of the Year awards

These Coppin State brothers are the first to sweep the top awards in any league in Division I men’s basketball

For the Tarke brothers of Coppin State — Anthony and Nendah — the 2020-21 MEAC postseason basketball awards turned out to be a family affair.

On Friday, Anthony Tarke won two awards — the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year — and was also named first-team All-MEAC. His younger brother, Nendah, was named the league’s Rookie of the Year while also being named third-team All-MEAC.

The tally of the MEAC award votes sent league officials scrambling to see if brothers had ever swept the top awards in any league in Division I men’s basketball.

It appears, according to league officials, that this is a first.

“My mother is ecstatic,” Anthony Tarke said, shortly after being told of his honor. “I’m definitely going to enjoy that moment with her. But while I feel blessed, I’m not in the mood to really celebrate because I know that we still have work to do.”

The continued work, for Anthony Tarke and Coppin, is to earn a trip to the NCAA tournament that would come by winning the MEAC tournament, which starts March 11. While Coppin has an overall losing record (9-12), the Eagles finished first in the league’s North Division and with a top seed has earned a place in Friday’s MEAC semifinals.

With 6-foot-6 Anthony Tarke being named the league’s player of the year, it marks the eighth time in Coppin State history that a player has won that honor, and the first time since the 2008-09 season. He averaged a team-leading 16.4 points and 8.4 rebounds a game this season (he also led the team in steals and blocks). In the regular-season finale, he hit all 11 of his shots from the field while scoring 31 points against Delaware State.

The honors add to the hardware of the well-traveled Tarke, who played his first two years of college basketball at the New Jersey Institute of Technology where he was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman, and named first-team all-conference as a sophomore when he led the team in scoring (15.7 points per game) and rebounding (6.2 per game). Anthony Tarke transferred to the University of Texas at El Paso, but after facing difficulty finding minutes with the Miners, he decided to transfer, which led him to Coppin State.

Nendah Tarke (right) takes the ball to the basket again UNC-Greensboro. He was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year.

Coppin State

Nendah Tarke, a 6-foot-4 freshman guard, averaged 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds this season. In being named third-team All-MEAC, he’s the first freshman to earn that award since R.J. Cole did it at Howard during the 2017-18 season.

“The whole year, my brother pushed me to be the best me I could be,” Nendah Tarke said. “We motivate each other every time we step on the court, and I’m just glad he’s here alongside me to share in this experience.”

Anthony Tarke is also a nominee for the Lou Henson Award, which honors the nation’s top mid-major player.

Coppin State guard DeJuan Clayton joined Anthony Tarke on the All-MEAC first team. Florida A&M coach Robert McCullum was named Coach of the Year.

Here’s the entire list of 2020-21 MEAC honorees:

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Anthony Tarke, Coppin State, Sr.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Nendah Tarke, Coppin State, Fr.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Anthony Tarke, Coppin State, Sr.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Robert McCullum, Florida A&M

FIRST TEAM

Anthony Tarke, Coppin State, Sr.

Troy Baxter, Morgan State, Sr.

DeJuan Clayton, Coppin State, Sr.

C.J. Keyser, North Carolina Central, Sr.

MJ Randolph, Florida A&M, Jr.

SECOND TEAM

Kameron Langley, North Carolina A&T, Sr.

Devante Carter, Norfolk State, Sr.

De’Torrion Ware, Morgan State, Jr.

Malik Miller, Morgan State, Jr.

Myles Carter, Delaware State, Sr.

THIRD TEAM

Koby Thomas, Coppin State, Sr.

Pinky Wiley, Delaware State, Jr.

Joe Bryant, Jr. Norfolk State, Jr.

Rashaan Edward, South Carolina State, So.

Nendah Tarke, Coppin State, Fr.

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

Nendah Tarke, Coppin State, Fr.

Kenan Sarvan, Coppin State, Fr.

Jalen Speer, Florida A&M, Fr.

Themus Fulks, South Carolina State, Fr.

Jemal Davis, South Carolina State, Fr.

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Anthony Tarke, Coppin State, Sr.

Kameron Langley, North Carolina A&T, Sr.

Malik Miller, Morgan State, Jr.

MJ Randolph, Florida A&M, Jr.

Troy Baxter, Morgan State, Sr.

Jerry Bembry is a senior writer at The Undefeated. His bucket list items include being serenaded by Lizz Wright, and watching the Knicks play an NBA game in June.