McConnell named Jostens Trophy Finalist - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

McConnell named Jostens Trophy Finalist

Dustin McConnell was named as a Jostens Trophy finalist, the award for Div. IIII's best player on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Dustin McConnell was named as a Jostens Trophy finalist, the award for Div. IIII's best player on the court, in the classroom and in the community.

by Whitworth University Sports Information

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth senior guard Dustin McConnell has been named one of ten finalists for the 2014 Jostens Trophy.

The Jostens Trophy is awarded to an outstanding NCAA Division III men’s and women’s basketball player who excels on the floor, in the classroom and in the community. The finalists for the prestigious award were announced today by members of the Rotary Club of Salem, Va. The club is responsible for the initial review of annual nominations and narrowed the pool to 10 men's and 10 women's finalists. The Salem Rotary Club Jostens Trophy Committee employs a numerical rating to narrow the list of finalists so that the decision can be made on the most objective basis possible.

Last year, Carissa Verkaik of Calvin and Randolph's Colton Hunt took home the trophies.

McConnell, the2014 NWC Player of the Year, is the second Pirate in the last three years to become a Jostens Award finalist. Felix Friedt was a finalist in 2012.

McConnell, now a two-time First Team All-NWC honoree, is averaging 13.1 points and 3.7 rebounds. He leads the Northwest Conference in assists (3.6 per game) and minutes played per game (35.7), and is second in free throw percentage (84.1). Dustin became the 24th player in Whitworth history to surpass the 1,000-career-points plateau in the NWC tournament championship game against Puget Sound. He now has 1,002 career points. He was named NWC Player of the Week on Feb. 10 after he played all 80 minutes and averaged 21.0 points per game in a pair of wins at Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran.

McConnell is also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. He has participated in community service projects through on-campus ministries and with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Spokane. He has also tutored junior high and high school students in the local community.

The other nine men’s finalists are: Richie Bonney, Hobart; Galen Holzhueter, Martin Luther; Trevor Johnson, Nebraska Wesleyan; Dan Kornbaum, Augsburg; Gordon Lyons, Geneseo State; Tyler Peters, Wheaton (Ill.); Ryan Sheehan, Nichols; Jared Suderley, Hartwick; David Thompson, Case Western Reserve.

Voters’ ballots are due by March 13 with the winning schools expected to be notified by March 14. The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 20 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the NCAA Division III men's basketball Final Four in Salem, Va., on March 21-22.

McConnell has helped lead 12th-ranked Whitworth to a 22-5 record and into the NCAA Division III tournament. It is the Pirates’ eighth consecutive NCAA appearance and ninth overall.