2016 Jostens Trophy finalists announced

Jared Holmquist, left, and KC McConnell, right, are among the 10 men's and 10 women's finalists for the 2016 Jostens Trophy.

The 2016 Jostens Trophy timeline reached a benchmark in its annual process with the announcement of the finalists by the members of the Salem (Va.) Rotary Club on Tuesday.  Twenty student-athletes -- 10 men and 10 women -- remain in the running for this season's honors from a record number of candidates in the original pool. The Salem Rotary Club is responsible for the initial review of nominations and narrowed the collection of candidates over the past two weeks.

The Jostens Trophy is awarded to an outstanding NCAA Division III men’s and women’s basketball player who excels on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.  This season marks the 19th presentation of the awards, with the inaugural trophies bestowed in 1998.

The Salem Rotary Club's 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.  The 20 finalists continue thru the review process, with a national selection committee of 32 individuals charged with determining the two winners of the 2016 Josten Trophy honors.

Last year, George Bugarinovic of Johns Hopkins and Eastern Mennonite's Jess Rheinheimer took home the trophies.

Listed below are the finalists for the 2016 Jostens Trophy:

Men's finalists Women's finalists
Trey Bardsley, Nebraska Wesleyan Eireann Anastasi, Delaware Valley
DJ Beckman, Alma  Cassidy Burkholder, Bridgewater (Va.)
Dillon Bender, Mount Aloysius  Malory Christenson, Carroll 
Jordan Bolger, Concordia-Moorhead  Holly Denfeld, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Tim Daniel, Greenville  Kathryn Erbelding, Grove City 
Ben Gardner, Hope  Lexi Fisher, Buena Vista 
Lucas Hausman, Bowdoin  KC McConnell, Whitworth 
Jared Holmquist, Trine  Katie McDaniels, Wheaton (Ill.)
Jamie Nikitas, Lawrence  Jess Rheinheimer, Eastern Mennonite 
George Valle, Whitworth  Katelyn Smith, Transylvania 

Ballots from the national selection committee are due by March 9 with the winning schools expected to be notified by March 11. The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 17 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the NCAA Division III men's basketball semifinals and championship in Salem, Va., on March 18-19.

The Jostens Trophy is a national award created by the Salem Rotary Club to honor the most outstanding men's and women's NCAA Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess, and community service. The trophy models the Rotary International motto of "Service Above Self" by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded NCAA Division III student-athlete. This year's class marks the 19th year the award has been presented.

All-time Jostens Trophy winners

Year Men Women
1998 Michael Nogelo, Williams Alicia Moore, Emory
1999 Michael Shantz, Hamilton Kristen Venne, Susquehanna
2000 Korey Coon, Illinois Wesleyan Alia Fischer, Washington U.
2001 David Jannuzzi, Wilkes Alison Grubbs, Lake Forest
2002 Adam Jones, Buena Vista Heather Kile, Swarthmore
2003 Derek Reich, Chicago Whitney Bull, Wilkes
2004 Justin Call, Emory and Henry Kay Mikolajczak, UW-Oshkosh
2005 Jon-David Byers, Lebanon Valley Tara Rohde, Trinity (Texas)
2006 Chris Braier, Lawrence Megan Silva, Randolph-Macon
2007 Ryan Cain, WPI Lisa Winkle, Calvin
2008 Troy Ruths, Washington U. Tarra Richardson, McMurry
2009 Jimmy Bartolotta, MIT Melanie Auguste, Colorado College
2010 Blake Schultz, Williams Julia Hirssig, UW-Stout
2011 Steve Djurickovic, Carthage Elizabeth Sunderhaus, Cedar Crest
2012 Aris Wurtz, Ripon Taylor Simpson, Chicago
2013 Colton Hunt, Randolph Carissa Verkaik, Calvin
2014 Richie Bonney, Hobart Katelyn Fischer, Marymount
2015 George Bugarinovic, Johns Hopkins Jess Rheinheimer, Eastern Mennonite
Winners by conference
  CC 1, CCIW 2, IIAC 1, LL 1, MACC 1,
ASC 1, CAC 1, CC 1, CSAC 1,
MACC 1, MACF 1, MIAA 2, MWC 1,