March 20, 2006
Cleveland, OH -- Earning any type of academic accolade generally involves being in some select company simply because it's a combination of those who have mastered the ability to succeed both on the court and in the classroom.
That's what makes Northern Illinois University's Jennifer Uptmor's (Centerville, OH) selection to the 2005-06 Mid-American Conference First-Team All-Academic squad that much more noteworthy according to first-year Huskie boss Carol Owens. The 6-3 senior center is one of two first-time honorees (along with Miami University's Amber Miller) on a 10-member unit which is headlined by Kent State University's Lindsay Shearer -- this year's CoSIDA / ESPN The Magazine national Academic All-America of the Year. Uptmor enters her final semester sporting a 3.75 cumulative grade-point-average (on a 4.00 scale) as a communications major.
Shearer was also one of three First-Team All-MAC honorees named to the Academic All-MAC squad along with Western Michigan University's Carrie Moore and Bowling Green State University's Ali Mann. University of Akron's Jessie Crooks -- a Third-Team All-MAC pick -- was one of three juniors along with Mann and Ball State University's Kelsey Corbin. Among the remaining seven seniors also chosen as repeat honorees were Central Michigan University guards Erin Kuhl and Casey Manning, and EMU's Sara VanMetre.
"Jennifer's in some great company with Lindsay Shearer, Carrie Moore, Ali Mann and the others, so we're very proud of her earning this award," Owens said. "It's well-deserved and she earned her votes based on how hard she played and how well she succeeded in the classroom. And both are just as important in our program.
"Jen had a 4.00 for the past semester and that's just the latest example of what she's contributed to our program from a standpoint of the the type of academic success we enjoyed as a team," Owens noted.
The NIU women's basketball squad completed the first semester of this academic year with the top grade point average among all the Huskie squads with a 3.577 group cum that was followed by the gymnasts (3.288) and volleyball (3.137) squad.
Uptmor, who went from being a reserve throughout her junior year to a fixture in the starting line-up this past season, finished the year tied for sixth on the squad in scoring (4.0 points-per-game) and second in rebounding (4.8 rpg.). In addition, she was second among the regulars in blocks (18) and field goal percentage (.470). The four-year letterwinner completed her career leading her current teammates in career games played with 104. Uptmor chalked up 243 points and 241 rebounds along with 60 assists, 41 blocks, and 17 steals while logging 1,274 minutes. Uptmor is the Huskies' initial First-Team Academic All-MAC honoree and is now atop a list that includes Charbea Haller as a Second-Team pick in 1998-99, plus Shelly Roberts and Val Leitzen as Honorable Mention selections in 1985-86.
(For further information, please contact Steve Nemeth) --NIU--