A Winning Combination: Academics and Athletics

Women’s Basketball Team Claims Top Academic Spot

A winning total for an athletic team typically is its most important score. However, scoring in the classroom is a reason for University of Missouri-Kansas City’s teams to celebrate.

The UMKC women’s basketball team captured a GPA of 3.628, which earned them the title of “top honoree in Division I” on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll.

“I am extremely excited for our team for achieving this tremendous honor,” Head Coach Marsha Frese said. “Not only is it a reflection of all of our student-athletes’ hard work, but also their commitment to achieving the culture of excellence that is UMKC women’s basketball.”

The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes NCAA Division I, II and III; NAIA; and junior/community college women’s basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade point average inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2013-14 season is the 19th in which the WBCA has compiled the honor rolls.

This recognition is a high point for UMKC, for the coaches and for the Athletics Department overall. It also is a distinct honor for the players.

“Academics has been a main focus of Coach Frese since she came to UMKC and because of that, the bar has been raised,” said Eilise O’Connor, a 2014 UMKC graduate who will begin pursuing a graduate degree at the UMKC School of Dentistry in the fall.

“Garnering the highest GPA in Division I is such an amazing recognition for all of the hard work and late nights this team sacrificed to reach and surpass the coach’s goal, as well as our own goals in the classroom. You can believe that Coach Frese will only let the program bask in the glory for a short time before once again raising the bar,” concluded O’Connor.

O’Connor was named a CoSIDA Capital One First Team All-American earlier this year.

The ‘Roos return to the Academic Top 25 Honor Roll for the second time in program history and for the first time since 1998.

The UMKC women’s basketball is joined in receiving accolades by members of the UMKC golf and tennis teams.

Nathan Hughes, Jack Fiscus and Cole Chelle earned the honor of Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars for Divisions I, II and the NAIA. A total of 207 players in Division I earned the honor. The announcement was made by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

To be eligible for Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar status, an individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least three full years at the collegiate level, participate in 50 percent of his team’s competitive rounds, have a stroke average under 76.0 and maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2. A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university. All three garnered Academic All-WAC honors this season.

The ‘Roos Emily Isaacson, Micah Radler, Susan Kirschenman and Abbey Campbell were recently recognized as the Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholars. A total of 664 women’s collegiate golfers received the honor. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.

Five student athletes also were honored as Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar Athletes. The UMKC women’s squad was represented by Dimitra Stavrianakou and Maddie Schulte, while the men’s team members Uldis Gaismins, Jai Grewal, and Daniel De Zamacona were recognized.

In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status, a player must meet strict criteria, including a GPA of at least 3.50 on a 4.00 scale for the current academic year.


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