Rio basketball teams honored for classroom work

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The men’s and women’s basketball teams from the University of Rio Grande were among the programs which were recognized recently as NAIA Scholar-Teams for the 2014-15 school year.

For a team to be considered for the NAIA Scholar-Team award, it must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the institution. The team grade point average includes all eligible varsity student-athletes.

The RedStorm women’s basketball team had a cumulative GPA of 3.25 – a mark which tied the RedStorm with Davenport (Mich.) for 56th place among the 85 Division II women’s basketball teams who were honored. Head coach David Smalley’s club was among five Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools to make the list, joining Midway University (3.40), IU-East (3.32), IU-Southeast (3.29) and Carlow University (3.17).

Taylor (Ind.) University led the way among Division II women’s teams with a GPA of 3.70.

The Rio men’s basketball team compiled a team grade point average of 3.10, tying Briar Cliff (Iowa) for 29th place among the 46 Division II men’s basketball teams who were recognized. Head coach Ken French’s squad was one of just two KIAC programs – Indiana University-East (3.13) was the other – to make the list.

Ottawa (Kan.) topped the Division II men’s list with a team GPA of 3.48.

A total of 1,502 programs nationwide, covering 20 sports, were recognized by the NAIA. Basketball was split into Division I and II, while indoor and outdoor track & field teams were recognized separately.

Missouri Baptist’s women’s tennis team, who finished the term with a NAIA-best combined 3.94 grade point average, was selected as the Scholar-Team of the Year.

Siena Heights (Mich.) women’s golf team nearly tied the women’s tennis team from Missouri Baptist, finishing with a 3.93 GPA. In third place was the women’s cross country team from Westminster (Utah) at 3.84.

Biola (Calif.) was one of four schools to have the distinction of having 18 of its teams honored on the list. The others included Campbellsville (Ky.), Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and Taylor (Ind.).

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing