FORT MYERS, Fla. - Less than three weeks after leading FGCU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance, redshirt-sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) and senior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) were named to the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Women's Scholar-Athlete Team, the organization announced on Tuesday, April. 3. The DI-AAA ADA also honored Hansen as the Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year to highlight the Scholar-Athlete Team.
This marks the second and third time a women’s basketball player for the Eagles has been named to the DI-AAA ADA Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete Team (Chihil; 2011). FGCU is the only school in the A-Sun to have a player on the Scholar-Athlete team and the only team in the state to be represented.
"We are extremely proud of this well-earned tremendous recognition that has been bestowed upon Courtney and Sarah,” said FGCU Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh, who also serves as the President for the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association. “They are both wonderful ambassadors who personify the definition of student-athlete and we are so appreciative of their numerous sacrifices, efforts, and contributions to FGCU Athletics in general and the University as a whole.”
Hansen and Chihil were dominant performers this year, leading the Eagles (29-3) to a NCAA Tournament appearance and also the program’s first Atlantic Sun Championship in their first year of postseason eligibility. The duo was also was instrumental in guiding the Green and Blue to a second straight Atlantic Sun regular season title, which was also the program’s third in five years, and the first undefeated A-Sun season since 1995-96
A Full Court Mid-Major All-American Honorable Mention honoree, the A-Sun’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year and FGCU’s fifth (first unanimous) All-Conference first team selection in program history, Hansen finished the season averaging a team-best 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds and ranking second on the Eagles in steals (2.0) and blocks (23). Hansen, who holds a 3.95 GPA in chemistry and sits seventh all-time in scoring in program history with 884 points, wrapped up the year ranked in the top-15 in the A-Sun in six categories (points, rebounds, FG Pct., FT Pct., steals, blocks). The redshirt-sophomore and member of the Capital 1 Academic All-District 4 first team scored in double figures 25 times this season, leading the Eagles in scoring in 15 contests, including eight of the last 10 games.
Chihil, one of the Green and Blue’s captains, played in 31 of 32 games for the Eagles this season, helping FGCU to the sixth-best winning percentage in the nation. Her 3.86 GPA in nursing earned her a spot on the inaugural A-Sun Academic All-Conference team. A Capital 1 Academic All-District 4 first team selection, Chihil finished the season as FGCU’s leader in minutes and ranked among A-Sun leaders (in conference games only) in seven categories (assist/turnover ratio, free-throw percentage, field goal percentage, assists, steals, three-point percentage and scoring).
This is the 10th year the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association has presented Scholar-Athlete Teams in men and women's basketball. Two 11-member squads are selected for each gender as well as an overall male and female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Criteria are based on the nominee being a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials and at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA. The student-athlete must have reached junior athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution (true freshmen, red-shirt freshmen and ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible), completed at least three academic semesters/five quarters at the nominated institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games.
About Division I-AAA ADA:
Now in its 11th year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership (the 99 Division I institutions that do not sponsor football), in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. For more information on the Division I-AAA ADA, please visit www.div1aaa-ada.com. The Division I-AAA ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 47th year. For more information on NACDA and the 12 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.
2012 Division I-AAA Scholar-Athlete Teams
Women’s Scholar-Athlete Team
Name, Institution (GPA | Major)
Maggie Blair, Manhattan (4.00 | Finance/Management)
Tara Booker, George Washington (3.38 | Sociology & Organizational Science)
Courtney Chihil, Florida Gulf Coast (3.86 | Nursing)
Lily Grenci, Siena (3.83 | Sociology)
Alexandra Hall, Hartford (3.95 | Management/Economics & Finance)
Dayon Hall-Jones, Missouri Kansas City (3.41 | Psychology)
Sarah Hansen, Florida Gulf Coast (3.95 | Chemistry)
Michelle Kurowski, Maryland Baltimore County (4.00 | Teaching/Early Childhood Education)
Kevi Luper, Oral Roberts (3.49 | Business Administration)
Anna Martin, DePaul (3.56 | Commerce: Intended Management)
Julie Wojta, Wisconsin Green Bay (3.58 | Business Administration & Accounting)
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Sarah Hansen, Florida Gulf Coast
Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient: Tara Booker, George Washington