FGCU Fourth In WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll

Thursday, July 18, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball team added to its solid 2012-13 campaign on Thursday, this time for its efforts in the classroom as the 15-member squad’s cumulative 3.621 grade-point average (GPA) landed the Eagles fourth on the final 2013 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division I Top 25 Team Honor Roll.

The Eagles finished ninth in the 2012 WBCA Top 25 Team Honor Roll.

“This is great recognition for our players,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “Our players have demonstrated that they are serious students and academically motivated. Our academic support services led by Brynn Richter have been excellent, and my assistants have done a very good job stressing the importance of academics.”

FGCU’s WBCA academic honor caps another stellar season for the program. The Eagles, the first school to go undefeated in A-Sun play in back-to-back seasons, finished the season with the most victories (27) of the 13 Division I institutions in the state of Florida and captured the program’s third consecutive A-Sun Regular Season crown (fourth in the last five years). Led by four-time Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year Karl Smesko, FGCU secured the ninth-straight 21+ win in program history and participated in their sixth consecutive Division I postseason tournament (WNIT).

“I want to congratulate Coach Smesko, his staff, and our terrific group of young women for continuing to collectively define what the term ‘student-athlete’ truly represents, with their fantastic results both on the court and in the classroom,” said FGCU Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh. “We strive to pursue excellence athletically and academically, and our women’s basketball program is a prime example that both can be done at a high level. Including our wonderful faculty and academic support staff, we congratulate all involved with this tremendous achievement.”

Utah Valley State topped the charts in Division I Women’s Basketball with a team GPA of 3.639.

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.

Exiting senior Brittany Kennedy and rising redshirt senior Sarah Hansen have piled up academic awards since the end of the 2012-13 season. Kennedy was named to the A-Sun Academic All-Conference team, while Hansen, a chemistry major and math minor with a 3.94 cumulative GPA, became the first student-athlete in FGCU history to earn Capital One Academic All-American status and was a College Sports Madness and Atlantic Sun Player of the Year honoree, a member of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Women's Scholar-Athlete team, a College Sports Madness and A-Sun first team all-conference selection, the A-Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year, a Capital One Academic All-America second team pick, a College Sports Madness All-Mid Major first team selection and a Full Court Mid-Major All-American honorable mention honoree.

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