Winners of the 2017 Jostens Trophies Announced

Winners of the 2017 Jostens Trophies Announced

Carnegie Mellon's Murphy, Hope's Blackledge Receive National Honors

SALEM, Va. --- Awards season for NCAA Division III women's and men's basketball continued on Tuesday afternoon with the announcement of the 2017 Jostens Trophy recipients. Carnegie Mellon University standout Lisa Murphy and Hope College star Harrison Blackledge are honored with this season's top awards, which recognize outstanding student-athletes in Division III basketball for excellence in the classroom, on the court, and in their respective communities.

The Jostens Trophy is a joint creation of Jostens, Inc., of Minneapolis, Minn., and the Rotary Club of Salem, Va. The purpose of the award is to honor the true Division III student-athlete - the athlete that shows excellence in the classroom, on the playing floor and in the community. In addition to the Trophy, the Wooldridge Scholarship, a $1,000 donation, will be presented in the names of the winners to their institutions. The scholarship was named after Dan Wooldridge, a Salem Rotarian and retired Commissioner of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, as a way of honoring him for his long-time dedication to Division III athletics.

The winners were chosen by a national selection committee that consists of college coaches, former athletes, college administrators and selected members of the media. The members of the national selection committee cast their votes based on three criteria: basketball ability, academic prowess, and community service.

The awards presentation for the Jostens Trophy is set for March 16, held in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Salem's weekly meeting and as prelude to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball National Championship Series at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va.

"Lisa is the epitome of the 'All-American' role model... She is a selfless individual who puts the needs of others before her own.  She has a 'team first' mindset and is incredibly humble about her individual talents and contributions to the success of our team" said Carnegie Mellon head women's basketball coach Jacquie Hullah.

Murphy, a native of McLean, Va., has established herself as the best player in Carnegie Mellon history, and sits amongst the greatest players in the history of the University Athletic Association (UAA) and Division III as a whole.  Murphy is the UAA career scoring leader with 2,306 points. She averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds for the third straight year in 2016-17, while leading the nation in field goal percentage (78.0%) for the third consecutive year.  She is one of only eight players in Division III history to record 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds, and 200 career blocks.  Murphy was named a First Team All-America by the WBCA and in 2016 and was named the UAA Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017.  Murphy was also named the 2017 Great Lakes Region Player of the Year.

One of the most impressive feats of Murphy's career at Carnegie Mellon is the transformation of the basketball program.  In 2015-16 she helped lead the program to its first winning season since 2002-03 and first NCAA tournament appearance since 1990-91 where the Tartans advanced to the sectional semifinal for the first time in school history.  In her four years, the Tartans are a combined 66-40, compared to a 33-68 record the four years prior. The 2016-17 Tartans finished as the ECAC Champions and tied the school record for wins in a season with 21.

In the classroom, Murphy maintains a 3.84 cumulative grade point average as a psychology major.  She is the vice president of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society, and she was elected to the academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa.  In 2016 Murphy was named a First Team Academic All-America, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).  In 2017, CoSIDA named her the Academic All-American of the Year.

In addition to her academic and athletic exploits, Murphy has been very active in the community.  As a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, she has led initiatives such as the annual Field Day and Thanksgiving food drives.  She also organized and ran a 3v3 event for Special Olympics, which included managing more than 100 athletes, parents and coaches.  Murphy helps clean up local trails along the riverfront and she has joined forces with First Trinity Homeless Ministry to deliver lunches to the homeless near campus.

"Over [Harrison's] career at Hope College I have watched him impact and transform the lives of students, teammates and coaches.  He is a fantastic young man who is leaving an incredible mark on our campus and in our community" said Hope College Director of Athletics Tim Schoonveld.

Blackledge, a native of Canton, Ohio, has been a driving force for the Hope men's basketball team all season.  He led the team in scoring with 20 points per game and was second with 5.9 rebounds per game.  He was an efficient scorer converting 56.9-percent of his field goals, 40-percent of his three-point attempts and 79.9-percent of his free throws.  He sits in the Hope records charts with the third-most career made free throws (447) and attempted free throws (571), and he ranks tenth all-time in career field goal percentage (.542). His 601 points this season rank third all-time among Flying Dutchmen players.

Blackledge was presented with the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's (MIAA) Most Valuable Player award after finishing the year ranked third in scoring, twelfth in rebounding and fifth in field goal percentage for the conference.  He scored in double figures in 28 of 30 games this season and led the Flying Dutchman to the sectional semifinal of the NCAA tournament.

In the classroom, Blackledge maintains a 3.91 cumulative grade point average as a communications and management major.  This year he became only the second Hope men's basketball player to earn Academic All-America distinction, as the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) named him to the first team.

In addition to his on-court and classroom exploits, Blackledge has done extensive work in the community.  For the past four years he has taught basketball to underprivileged students in the community.  He also worked at the local Ronald McDonald House, after-school enrichment programs, and with Special Olympics and the Miracle League.  He also serves as a counselor at the Summer's Best Two Weeks Camp where he mentors students.

1998 Michael Nogelo, Williams Alicia Moore, Emory
1999 Michael Schantz, Hamilton             Kristen Venne, Susquehanna
2000 Korey Coon, Illinois Wesleyan Alia Fischer, Washington-St. Louis
2001 David Jannuzzi, Wilkes                       Alison Grubbs, Lake Forest
2002 Adam Jones, Buena Vista             Heather Kile, Swarthmore
2003 Derek Reich, Chicago      Whitney Bull, Wilkes
2004 Justin Call, Emory & Henry           Kay Mikolajczak, UW-Oshkosh
2005 Jon-David Byers, Lebanon Valley              Tara Rohde, Trinity (Texas)
2006 Chris Braier, Lawrence   Megan Silva, Randolph-Macon
2007 Ryan Cain, WPI Lisa Winkle, Calvin
2008 Troy Ruths, Washington-St. Louis             Tarra Richardson, McMurry
2009 Jimmy Bartolotta, MIT   Melanie Auguste, Colorado College
2010 Blake Schultz, Williams   Julia Hirssig, UW-Stout
2011 Steve Djurickovic, Carthage               Elizabeth Sunderhaus, Cedar Crest
2012 Aris Wurtz, Ripon      Taylor Simpson, University of Chicago
2013 Colton Hunt, Randolph Carissa Verkaik, Calvin
2014 Richie Bonney, Hobart Katelyn Fischer, Marymount
2015 George Bugarinovic, Johns Hopkins Jess Rheinheimer, Eastern Mennonite
2016 Trey Bardsley, Nebraska Wesleyan Holly Denfeld, Milwaukee School of Eng.
2017 Harrison Blackledge, Hope Lisa Murphy, Carnegie Mellon


** Minneapolis-based Jostens is a leading provider of products and services that help recognize achievement and affiliation throughout people's lives. The company specializes in championships rings and awards in addition to yearbooks, class rings, graduation products, school photography and corporate programs.