FERRIS' SAM JOHNS EARNS NCAA DEGREE-COMPLETION AWARD
Women's Basketball Player Among National Recipients Of NCAA Funds
A Ferris State University student-athlete who recently completed her collegiate eligibility has been chosen to receive an NCAA Degree-Completion Award to continue her education in an announcement made by the NCAA.
The Division II Degree-Completion Award Committee chose 86 applicants to receive degree-completion funds for the 2008-09 term, including FSU women's basketball player Sam Johns (Allendale), who represents only the school's third-ever recipient of the award. The 5-9 Johns played her final season of collegiate basketball for the Bulldogs in the 2007-08 campaign.
"This is an outstanding award for both Sam and the institution and we're thrilled to congratulate her on this recognition," said FSU Athletics Director Tom Kirinovic. "She will receive funds to complete her degree as part of this honor from the NCAA, which is annually awarded to deserving student-athletes from across the nation."
The Division II Degree-Completion Award program provides financial assistance to deserving student-athletes for the completion of their first baccalaureate degree. To receive the award, students must have completed their athletics eligibility and received financial aid for athletics. Recipients must have solid academic credentials. The committee also considers financial circumstances, athletics achievement and involvement in campus and community activities when making its funding decisions. The funding must be used to complete undergraduate degree requirements at the Division II institution where the applicant last competed.
Johns was among seven student-athletes from Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) member institutions included in the list of recipients. The committee also selected 10 alternates from across the nation in the event any of the 86 recipients decline the award. The Division II Degree-Completion Award Program was founded in 2001, when 32 awards were distributed. This year's 86 honorees came from a pool of 182 applicants and represent 63 different NCAA-II institutions.
Previously, former FSU men's basketball standout Carlton Epps and Navreet Gill of the Bulldog softball program were honored as the school's first NCAA Degree-Completion Award recipients following the 2004-05 athletics season.
Johns claimed FSU's Sixth Player Award this past season after scoring 7.8 points and grabbing 3.4 rebounds per contest in 28 outings her final campaign. She concluded her Bulldog career with 799 points, 355 rebounds, 172 assists and 87 steals in 113 career games. Johns finished her collegiate career ranked tied for third with 135 three-pointers among the school's all-time leaders. The four-year letterwinner registered eight double-figure scoring contests this past season.
The Ferris State women's basketball squad wrapped up the 2007-08 season with a 17-12 overall record and placed tied for third in the GLIAC North Division with a 11-7 league mark. The Bulldogs defeated Northwood 93-89 on the road in the GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals (March 1) before dropping their GLIAC Semifinal contest (March 7) to Ashland by a 56-45 count in Houghton, Mich. The Bulldogs, under head coach Tracey Dorow, previously reached the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen in 2006-07 during Johns' junior campaign.