June 26, 2013
NAPERVILLE, Ill. - Utah Valley University basketball standout Holton Hunsaker has been named the Great West Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2012-13. The award is the single highest individual award bestowed by the GWC and honors the outstanding academic achievement, athletic achievement, attitude, and leadership of one male and one female student-athlete.
"This is a special achievement with all of the outstanding student-athletes throughout the Great West Conference," said UVU men's basketball coach Dick Hunsaker. "Holton is exceptional in managing his time around all of his basketball and other life commitments."
Hunsaker's honor comes after a year when the junior point guard was recognized both on and off the court. He was a first-team All-Great West Conference selection after averaging 13.2 points per game and finishing fourth in the nation after hitting 90.4 percent from the free-throw line.
Academically, Hunsaker was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District 8 Men's Basketball Team as well as the Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Scholar-Athlete Team. He was also named to the Academic All-Great West Conference team for the second time. The accounting major has a 3.91 cumulative GPA and has started every game during his career.
Hunsaker was named the Great West Conference Player of the Week three times this past season. His standout performances include career-high 37 points and a school-record-tying eight 3-pointers at Chattanooga in December.
Most recently, Hunsaker spent the summer interning for Utah Senator Orrin Hatch in Washington, D.C.
"This means a lot to me as I work towards my future after basketball. To receive this award, considering all the Great West has meant to us as student athletes and as we prepare to join the WAC, is a tremendous honor," Holton said. "I'm appreciative of each of my professors, counselors and the academic advisors we have. They have all been extremely helpful in allowing me to balance my busy basketball schedule with my school work."
To be eligible for the GWC Scholar-Athlete Award a student-athlete must be a junior or senior who has completed two seasons of athletic competition in a conference sponsored sport at a member institution and must have a minimum grade point average of 3.2. The student-athlete must display an exemplary mental attitude toward his or her peers and academic and athletic mentors, including leadership, maturity, integrity and contributions to the community. Each institution can nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the award through its faculty athletics representative, and the honorees are determined by a vote of the member institutions.
"On behalf of the entire league, I want to congratulate Holton and Sammie on their prestigious Scholar-Athlete Awards," said GWC Commissioner Ed Grom. "They led a group of deserving nominees who have found the right balance of excellence in both athletics and academics, while maintaining high character and setting an example of leadership on campus. The demands on a student-athlete's time is immense, and all our nominees are to be commended for their efforts."
Other athletes nominated for the award were Chicago State's Sydney Van Munster (volleyball/ track & field) and Jeremy Robinson (basketball); Houston Baptist's Shelby Horn (soccer) and Jake Gonzalez (baseball); NJIT's Meryl Hershfield (soccer) and Tripp Davis (baseball); and Texas-Pan American's Judith Chumba (cross country/track & field) and Martin Casse (cross country/track & field).