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Three WCC Athletes Named to DI-AAA NACDA Scholar-Athlete Teams

April 9, 2009

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Three WCC student-athletes in the sport of basketball were selected as part of this year's annual Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete Teams as announced by NACDA today. Portland's Robin Smeulders was one of 10 men's basketball players chosen, while Gonzaga's Jami Schaefer and Santa Clara's Elizabeth Doran were among the 11 women's basketball players selected.

Smeulders started all 32 games during the 2008-09 season for the Pilots and averaged 10.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He helped Portland to a 19-13 overall record and the program's first postseason appearance since 1996 as the team was invited to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. He was an All-West Coast Conference honorable mention selection and also earned WCC All-Academic honors for the second straight season. Smeulders currently has a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average as a marketing and management major.

Schaefer, a senior guard from Spokane, carries a 3.95 grade point average in business administration. Earlier, she was named to the ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) District 8 All-Academic team, also for the third time. A captain for the Bulldogs this season, Schaefer is averaged 5.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.1 assists per game. Schaefer, who started the first 14 games for the Zags this season, missed nine games due to a knee injury, but returned to the floor to help propel GU to a 27-7 overall mark and a 12-2 record in conference.

For Doran, this is her second annual honor and is no stranger to academic achievements. The Corvallis, Ore., nativecarries a 3.93 cumulative grade-point average and will graduate this June with a bioengineering degree. Her determination and drive in the classroom extends to her team-leading efforts on the court. Earlier this year, Doran was named to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-District VIII First Team and was a West Coast Conference Winter All-Academic honoree. As a junior she received three academic honors as she was named to the WCC All-Academic team, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Women's Scholar-Athlete team and to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-District VIII First Team.

Doran started in 28 of 31 contests for the Broncos and led the team with 62 three-point field goals. She was second on the squad with 8.5 points per game and with an 86.2 FT%. Doran compiled a 17-game streak in which she sunk at least one three-pointer. It was just four games shy of her personal-best 21-game streak that she produced in 2007-08. In the WCC, she was second in 3FGs made and ninth with a 31.8 3FG%.

"Liz is a standout student who takes academics very serious," said head women's basketball coach Jennifer Mountain. "We are proud of her efforts in the classroom throughout her career and she is deserving of her award. Her efforts in the classroom will continue to serve her well in the next phase of her life in whatever she decides to pursue."

"It's an honor for the Division I-AAA ADA to annually award these academic all-star teams," stated Jean Lenti Ponsetto, chair of the Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Team Selection Committee and athletics director at DePaul University. "These student-athletes personify the definition of student-athlete, both on and off the court. Our Association is proud to be represented by such a strong group of student-athletes."

Basketball players from all Division I-AAA ADA member institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials. He/she must have reached junior athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution (true freshmen, red-shirt freshmen and ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible) and have completed at least three academic semesters/five quarters at the nominated institution. Nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games listed on the nomination form.

A special Review Committee of Division I-AAA athletics directors were responsible for selecting the winners. Completing this task were Committee Chair Jean Lenti Ponsetto, DePaul; Pete Carlon, Texas Arlington; Don DiJulia, St. Joseph's; Gene Doris, Fairfield; Bill Husak, Loyola Marymount; Kelly Mehrtens, North Carolina Wilmington; John Planek, Loyola (Ill.); and Scott Street, Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

About Division I-AAA ADA: Now in its eighth year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership (the 95 Division I institutions that do not sponsor football), in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. For more information on the Division I-AAA ADA, please visit www.div1aaa-ada.com. The Division I-AAA ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 44th year. For more information on NACDA and the 11 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.