Marcus Sasser earns Houston's 1st AP All-America First Team selection since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984

The Coogs' star guard's status for their first-round game vs. Northern Kentucky remains a mystery Tuesday.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023
UH's Sasser traveling with team to NCAA opening games
Marcus Sasser, who was named to the AP All-America First Team, is still unclear to play during NCAA tournament games this weekend for Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- While it may be strange but understandable for Houston Cougars fans to pray for Marcus Sasser's groin health, those fanatics can at least celebrate an honor that the team hasn't earned in nearly 40 years.

Sasser was named to the Associated Press All-America First Team after leading a Coogs squad to the American Athletic Conference regular-season championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

The honor was announced Tuesday as the Coogs players boarded buses bound for a plane that would take them to Birmingham, Alabama, where they begin March Madness play on Thursday.

STORY UPDATE: Is Marcus Sasser playing in March Madness? UH star practices day before NCAA opener

In an encouraging sign for UH's prospects of a deep run and a potential Final Four berth in Houston, Sasser, who went down with a non-contact groin injury during the AAC tournament, was seen walking to the bus, signaling that he's at least traveling with the team and giving a shot at playing this weekend.

Sasser's honor marks the first time in 39 years that the Cougars men's hoops program earned a first-team All-America selection since Hakeem Olajuwon during the "Phi Slama Jama" era.

The senior guard posted 20 points in a game 12 times during the season, averaging a team-high 17 points a game.

The awards weren't done there. The National Association of Basketball Coaches, or NABC, named Sasser and teammates Jarace Walker and Jamal Shead to an All-District team.

Sasser and Walker earned first-team honors while Shead was a second-teamer for District 24, which generally includes teams from the AAC. Not to be outdone, Kelvin Sampson was named the NABC district's coach of the year.

SEE ALSO: Marcus Sasser injury news under wraps as No. 1 Houston prepares for No. 16 Northern Kentucky

The Houston Cougars lead a contingent of top-flight Texas schools into the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The Coogs, though, aren't the only ones in Houston playing in March Madness.