On March 18, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that 124 Division I women’s basketball athletes achieved this scholar-athlete status. In order to be named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete, the student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.
Vanguard’s women’s basketball scholar-athletes are: Chelsea Alfafara, senior guard; Leigha Bednar, junior forward/center; Taylor Belmont, senior guard; Alison Drennan, junior guard; Maree Drenan, senior forward; and Esther Timmermans, senior forward/center.
Commenting on what it takes to be a successful student-athlete, the players said that time management and commitment to their studies were crucial. Alfara, a biology/pre-medical major, with a minor in spanish, said: “Juggling academics and college sports at the same time was, at times, very difficult. Essentially, you have two jobs – one of a full-time student and the other as an athlete.” Bednar, a psychology major, held this high academic standard while competing and taking 23 units.
“I treat school much the same way as I treat athletics. I simply do what I can to the best of my ability,” Maree Drennan said. Another part of having academic success during the season involves putting the social life “on hold,” she added. Timmermans agreed, saying that with good time management juggling sports and academics can be pretty easy.
To see the entire list of Daktronics-NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athletes, visit the NAIA story by clicking here.