MAILED: April 25, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior Erika Schmidt has been awarded a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship from the National Collegiate Athletic Association for her outstanding academic and athletic performance. Schmidt, a biology major from Marshfield, was one of the 32 basketball players to receive an award.
Schmidt is the first UW-Eau Claire student-athlete to receive the prestigious scholarship, said Tim Petermann, assistant to the athletic director.
"It's not often that you find a student-athlete with such a combination of superior academic and superior athletic skills; Erika has that combination," Petermann said.
Schmidt, who's played basketball since fifth grade, plans to study in the Mayo Clinic physical therapy program in Rochester, Minn., in the fall, and may eventually pursue a career in sports medicine therapy.
She applied for the scholarship knowing she would need financial assistance with graduate school tuition and after encouragement from several people, she said. Time management has been the key to her success, she said.
"The coaches, professors and advisers who helped with the application process did a great job of telling the selection committee about my strengths," Schmidt said. "I wouldn't have received the award without their help."
During Schmidt's four-year Blugold career, the team posted a 99-19 overall record and advanced to the Final Four twice and the NCAA Elite Eight the other two years. She ranks third on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,547 points and second on the all-time rebounding list with 960 rebounds, Petermann said.
To qualify for the scholarship, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team. The student-athlete must also intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time graduate student and have behaved on and off the court in a manner that has brought credit to the them, the institution and intercollegiate athletics.
The NCAA awards a total of 174 post-graduate scholarships annually in basketball and other sports in which the NCAA conducts championship competition. Additional UW-Eau Claire students plan to apply for the scholarships in the future, Petermann said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 25, 1997