Valpo women’s basketball senior guard Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) received one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for a student-athlete on Wednesday, as she was named to the College Sports Communicators (formerly CoSIDA) Academic All-America Third Team for her work in the classroom and on the basketball court. Brown was one of just 16 D-I players nationwide recognized as an Academic All-America selection.
Brown, who owns a perfect 4.00 GPA as a communication major, becomes just the second player in the history of the Valpo women’s basketball program to be named an Academic All-American. Betsy Rietema was a two-time honoree, earning a spot on the Third Team in 2005-06 and the First Team in 2006-07.
One of the top shooters in the Missouri Valley Conference, Brown paced the Beacons in scoring this season, averaging 12.0 points/game. She scored in double figures 17 times, including four outings of 20 or more points, and led Valpo in the scoring column on 14 occasions.
Brown hit at a .415 clip from behind the 3-point line on the year, tied for ninth-best in a single season in program history, and boosted her accuracy to .452 within MVC-only play. She ranked third in the Valley in 3-point percentage overall and was second-best in the conference in MVC-only play in both 3-point percentage and 3-pointers/game.
Brown was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team last week in recognition of her work in the classroom and on the court. She earned the MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award last year and has been named to the MVC Honor Roll.
Brown and men’s basketball senior Ben Krikke, who was announced as a Second Team Academic All-America honoree on Tuesday, combine to make Valpo one of just three Division I institutions to have both a men’s basketball and a women’s basketball Academic All-America selection this year, joining Stanford and South Dakota State.
Brown’s honor gives Valpo Athletics 39 Academic All-America award winners all-time. 27 of those honorees have come in the last 19 years, as Valpo has boasted at least one Academic All-America honoree in 17 of the last 19 seasons.
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