ORU's Owens Named to ADA Scholar-Athlete Team

ORU's Owens Named to ADA Scholar-Athlete Team

TULSA, Okla. (oruathletics.com) – Oral Roberts junior men's basketball player Albert Owens has been named to the DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Team, it was announced by the organization Tuesday. The honor marks the second year in a row in which the Oral Roberts men's basketball team has had someone honored after Obi Emegano earned the distinction for the 2015-16 season.

Owens was an All-Summit League honorable mention selection this year, having finished the season fourth in the Summit League in points per game (17.4), fourth in blocks (37) and 14th in rebounding (5.6). He was recently named to the Summit League's All-Academic Team and carries a 3.62 GPA and will earn his degree in history and government in three years, graduating in May before starting his master's degree for his senior year at ORU. He scored 20 or more points in eight consecutive games during the season and scored a career high 28 points on two occasions within that stretch.

"Our association is thrilled with the high quality of this year's group of women's and men's scholar-athlete award winners," stated Tim Hall, chair of the Division I-AAA Scholar-Athlete Team Selection Committee and athletics director at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "Our basketball programs are the primary focus of I-AAA athletics and recognizing these scholar-athletes, the Scholar-Athletes of the Year and the postgraduate scholarship recipients for their outstanding accomplishments is very gratifying for our organization."

"Student-athletes invest so much time and energy to stay ahead in their studies, while giving their best in competition," said Troy Austin, president of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association and athletics director at Longwood University. "It says a lot about a young person when they can perform at a high level in both areas. On behalf of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association, I would like to congratulate the Scholar-Athletes of the Year and the postgraduate scholarship recipients for their accomplishments in the classroom and on the field. This deserving group of outstanding individuals exemplifies the student-athlete model."

Basketball players from all Division I-AAA ADA member institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials. Nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games listed on the nomination form. To be eligible for nomination to the Scholar-Athlete Team, he/she must have reached JUNIOR academic standing at their institution (ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible). To be eligible for the postgraduate scholarship, he/she must have completed eight semesters or the equivalent number of quarters at their institution. Preference was given to those on track to graduate in spring/summer 2017.

Additionally, from the Scholar-Athlete teams, one male and female student-athlete was selected as the Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Receiving the women's honor was Mehryn Kraker, an applied leadership in teaching and leadership/education major with a minor in business administration from UW-Green Bay, with a 3.947 GPA; while the men's award went to Nigel Williams-Goss, a psychology major from Gonzaga University, who holds a 3.84 GPA. 

Brooke Schulte, a health sciences major from DePaul University with a 3.676 GPA, and Nate Kratch, a psychology major from Santa Clara University, with a 3.89 GPA, were selected as the 2017 postgraduate scholarship recipients. Each will receive $5,000 towards postgraduate studies and will be given their awards during the Association's annual membership meeting being held in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention, at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Florida, June 12-15.

A special Review Committee of Division I-AAA athletics directors were responsible for selecting the winners. Completing this task were Committee Chair Tim Hall; Amanda Braun, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Don DiJulia, St. Joseph's; Gene Doris, Fairfield; Bill Hogan, Seattle; Bill Husak, Loyola Marymount; Philip Hutcheson, Lipscomb; Scott Lazenby, Texas A&M Corpus Christi; and Jean Lenti Ponsetto, DePaul.

About Division I-AAA ADA: Now in its 16th year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership (the 99 Division I institutions that do not sponsor football), in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. For more information on the Division I-AAA ADA, please visit www.div1aaa-ada.com. The Division I-AAA ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 52nd year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.

Men's Scholar-Athlete Team

Name

Instutution

GPA

Major

Evan Bradds

Belmont University

3.49

Finance

Mike Crawford

Saint Louis University

3.84

Accounting

Clayton Custer

Loyola University Chicago

3.59

Finance

Billy Garrett

DePaul University

3.242

Finance

Brian Hand

UNC Asheville

3.966

Management/Economics

Przemek Karnowski

Gonzaga University

3.43

Business Adminstration

Nate Kratch

Santa Clara University

3.89

Psychology

Albert Owens

Oral Roberts University

3.62

History

Kevin Vannatta

UNC Asheville

3.927

Accounting

Nigel Williams-Goss

Gonzaga University

3.84

Psychology

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga University

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