The Ellsworth Community College women's basketball program has had a lot of success in the classroom this year. The team is ranked 9th highest grade point average (GPA) in the nation out of all community colleges with a 3.51 team GPA by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
The Panthers have been ranked academically eight out of the last nine years. Along with this great accomplishment, the team also finished 9th in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) team academic rankings.
In addition to the team's academic accomplishments this year, the Panthers had several players recognized for their individual academic standings. The team qualified nine players for the Academic All-Region team. First Team includes Alivia Zubrod of New Hartford; Ashley Gates of Lake City, MN; Justice Thigpen of Tampa, FL; and Leslie Birkenholz of Hopkins, MO; Jordyn Lehman of Iowa City; Molly Greenfield of Williams; and Tijuana Weatherspoon of Pensacola, FL. Second Team honors went to Keziah Lewis of Hobsonville, New Zealand, and April Jones of Humboldt.
First Team honorees must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 to 4.0, and Second Team honorees must have a 3.0 to 3.49 GPA.
The NJCAA also awarded Superior Academic Achievement to Thigpen, Gates and Birkenholz. Individuals receiving this honor must have a GPA of 3.8 to 3.99. Zubrod and Lehman received NJCAA Exemplary Academic Achievement with a 3.6 to 3.79 GPA.
"I am very proud of the work our athletes have done in the classroom," commented ECC Head Women's Basketball Coach Ed Geitz. "It is easy to see how hard they work on the court, but this shows how hard they are working in the classroom. When they are able to do well on and off the court, they will be successful later in their life."