Hansen Named #ASunWBB Scholar-Athlete of the Year for Third-Straight Year
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
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Hansen earned the league's top academic honor of the third-straight year  photo credit: Linwood Ferguson
Hansen earned the league's top academic honor of the third-straight year photo credit: Linwood Ferguson

MACON Ga. – Just hours before the FGCU women’s basketball team opens play in the 2014 Atlantic Sun Championship tournament, senior captain Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) was named the Atlantic Sun Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.  The honor, voted on by the league’s sports information directors, is Hansen’s third-straight.

Hansen boasts a 3.88 cumulative grade point average as a chemistry major and mathematics minor.  As an honors student, she has earned a 4.0 GPA in four semesters and has received Dean’s List or higher distinction in every semester.  Hansen was named the program’s first ever Capital One Academic All-America Division I Second-Team member and has earned All-District Four honors three years in a row.  She has twice earned a position on the Division I-AAA Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete team and was named the DI-AAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2012.  Hansen was a Rhodes Scholar nominee and was selected as FGCU’s 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee.

“Sarah is an exceptionally bright individual who excels in the classroom and on the court,” said head coach Karl Smesko.  It is great to see her efforts recognized.”

Hansen has earned five-consecutive Atlantic Sun All-Academic honors and has now picked up her third-straight Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.  Last season, Hansen was unanimously chosen as the Atlantic Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The academic award complements Hansen’s second-straight Atlantic Sun Player of the Year award, which was announced by the league on Monday.  As the team’s captain and only senior, Hansen led the team to its fourth-straight regular season title with 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season.  Hansen also recorded a team-high shooting percentage at .483 and led the team with 58 steals during the regular season.  She recorded six double-doubles on the season with four in the last seven games and had 23 games with double-figure points with two 20+ point performances. Hansen led the Eagles in scoring on seven occasions and led the team in rebounds 20 times.

In Hansen’s four years on the court, the Eagles have never finished below first place in the Atlantic Sun standings.  Hansen’s tenure boasts 106 team wins that include notable wins over LSU, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and USF and a mark of 68-4 in Atlantic Sun play.

The A-Sun introduced the new sport-by-sport Academic All-Conference teams in the 2011-12 academic year to recognize student-athletes who embody the conference’s mission of Building Winners for Life. All the members of the team boast a 3.30 cumulative grade point average or better and participated in at least half of their team’s games.

Hansen and the team will begin Atlantic Sun Championship action Tuesday evening as the top-seeded Eagles host no. 8 Lipscomb in the quarterfinals at Alico Arena.  Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. and can be viewed live and free of charge on ESPN3.  Following Tuesday’s matchup, the semifinal and final rounds will be played at the top remaining seed, meaning FGCU will play all conference tournament games in front of the home crowd.

Tickets for all three games are selling quickly. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.

For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the women’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_WBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUWBB.

ATLANTIC SUN ACADEMIC HONORS 

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Sarah Hansen, FGCU

Academic All-Conference Team
Chandler Christopher, ETSU, Sophomore, 3.79, Nursing
Danay Fothergill, Lipscomb, Sophomore, 3.64, Interdisciplinary Teaching
Kate Alemann, Mercer, Senior, 4.0, Biology
Christine Roush, Northern Kentucky, Sophomore, 3.86, Biological Sciences
Kayla Thacker, Northern Kentucky, Senior, 3.83, Health Sciences