July 18, 2013

Tradition continues for Women's Basketball

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

ATLANTA -- Once again the Northern Colorado women's basketball team has proven its players can balance both roles of "student" and "athlete."

The Bears on Thursday earned one of the top spots in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Academic Top 25 honor roll, doing so for the fifth time in the past six years.

Northern Colorado, which played in the Big Sky Conference championship game this season for the second straight year and advanced to the Second Round of the WNIT, grabbed the 25th spot in Thursday's announcement with a 3.365 grade-point average.

"As I have said before, it is now a tradition here to get this award and one each new class works to continue," Northern Colorado coach Jaime White said. "Our student-athletes are very committed to working hard in both the classroom and on the court, and this shows that. We are very fortunate to have coaches and support staff who are just as committed to the athletes' success as they are."

The Bears are one of three Big Sky Conference teams on the list, joining North Dakota (7th, 3.546) and Eastern Washington (tied-14th, 3.491), and earlier this season Northern Colorado had eight players named to the Big sky All-Academic team in junior Molly Duehn, freshman Kyleigh Hiser, sophomore Stephanie Lee, junior Kim Lockridge, senior Lauren Oosdyke, junior D'shara Strange, senior Victoria Timm and sophomore Amber Van Deudekom.

The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes women's basketball teams across the nation in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, the NAIA, and junior/community colleges that carry the highest combined grade-point averages (GPAs), inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2012-13 season is the 18th in which the WBCA has produced the honor rolls.

A team's GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of hours attempted by all team members in the academic terms (semesters or quarters) that the season spans. Weighted grades are converted to a 4.0 scale. The GPAs are rounded to the nearest thousandth of a point. Teams are nominated for the honor by a WBCA-member head coach. A team must have a 3.000 or better GPA to be nominated.

"The GPAs produced this year by each of the Top 25 teams are quite remarkable," WBCA CEO Beth Bass said. "The coaches of these teams have done a terrific job encouraging their student-athletes to perform at their best both on the court and in the classroom. Congratulations to these 114 programs. I wish them each continued success."