SALEM, Va. – Senior Sara Tarbert of the Stevenson University women's basketball team is one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Josten's Trophy, it was announced Tuesday afternoon. Tarbert becomes the first Stevenson basketball player, male or female, to be a finalist for the award.
The Jostens Trophy, presented by the Rotary Club of Salem, Va., is awarded to an outstanding NCAA Division III men's and women's basketball player who excels on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. This season marks the 20th presentation of the awards, with the inaugural trophies bestowed in 1998.
The Rotary Club of Salem is responsible for the initial review of nominations and narrowing the collection of candidates over the past two weeks. A record number of candidates were nominated in 2017.
A national selection committee of 32 individuals will determine the two winners of Jostens Trophy honors. Ballots from the national selection committee are due by March 9 with the winning schools expected to be notified by March 10. The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 16 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the NCAA Division III men's basketball semifinals and championship in Salem, Va., on March 17-18.
Tarbert, a Nursing major who earlier Tuesday was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, has been one of the top players in the country this season as she has led the Mustangs to a 17-9 record and a fourth straight postseason appearance. She is averaging 23.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.7 blocked shots per game while shooting 51.4% from the floor and 75.4% at the free throw line.
Through Sunday's games, Tarbert ranks fourth nationally in scoring and seventh nationally in rebounding, while she leads the MAC Commonwealth in both categories. She also leads all of NCAA basketball, both genders and all three divisions, with 26 double-doubles on the season, and last week Tarbert recorded her 27th straight double-double going back to last season, a new NCAA Division III record. Tarbert also leads the MAC Commonwealth in field goal percentage and steals while ranking second in blocked shots, eighth in free throw percentage and 13th in assists per game.
Last Thursday, Tarbert was named the MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year and a First Team All-Conference selection, becoming the first to repeat as the league's Player of the Year since the 2010-11 season. An eight-time MAC Commonwealth Player of the Week, Tarbert was twice named to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week and was named USBWA National Player of the Week after pouring in a school-record 49 points in a win at Widener on December 3, 2016.
Tarbert becomes the 13th finalist from the Middle Atlantic Conference. Last season, Eireann Anastasi of Delaware Valley University was one of 10 finalists for the award. The lone female award winner from the conference was Wilkes' Whitney Bull in 2003.
Stevenson women's basketball graduate assistant Katelyn Fischer won the award in 2014 as a senior at Marymount (Va.) University.
The Jostens Trophy is a national award created by the Rotary Club of Salem to honor the most outstanding men's and women's NCAA Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess, and community service. The trophy models the Rotary International motto of "Service Above Self" by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded NCAA Division III student-athlete. This year's class marks the 20th year the award has been presented.
Additional information on the award can be found at http://www.odaconline.com/jostens
Cary Beahm, Roanoke College
Ali Doswell, Amherst College
Sara Dyslin, Hendrix College
Mikaela Eppard, Elmhurst College
Alexandra Leslie, University of Rochester
Katie McDaniels, Wheaton (Ill.) College
Camille McPherson, Moravian College
Lisa Murphy, Carnegie Mellon University
Sara Tarbert, Stevenson University
Kelsey Tietje, Defiance College