Courtesy of Geneseo Sports Information Department
GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo senior guard Kara Houppert will represent the Knights and the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) as this year's nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year, announced Tuesday.
Houppert was chosen by conference officials and an independent selection committee from the pool of conference nominees as one of 145 female student-athletes for consideration for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
In early September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, which include 10 women from each division. At the end of September, the selection committee will select and announce nine finalists, with three from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those finalists.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual banquet Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
The Knights' starting point guard was named a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) First Team All-Star and an All-East Region Second Team pick by D3hoops.com after leading the squad to a program-record 28-2 mark, including a perfect 25-0 regular season record and its third-straight NCAA Tournament bid during the 2016-17 campaign.
Houppert averaged 9.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and a team-high 3.5 assists per game while leading the SUNYAC in three-point percentage (42.1) and finishing third in the conference in free throw percentage (81.7) and assists per game.
Houppert led Geneseo with 17.5 points per game in a pair of victories to open the NCAA Tournament, including a career-high 23 points in a 78-72 win over Rochester in the second round as the Knights advanced to the "Sweet 16" for the second time in three seasons.
Houppert was named the 2017 SUNYAC Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was voted the Dr. Myrtle Merritt Award winner as Geneseo's top female student-athlete. She was named to the Dean's List in six semesters at Geneseo, including two President's List citations for earning a 4.0 grade point average. Houppert earned three SUNYAC All-Academic Team selections and two SUNYAC Commissioner's List selections.
Houppert graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in childhood and special education, compiling a 3.68 GPA. She was awarded the Susan J. Hughes Memorial Scholarship and the Patricia K. Lyon Memorial Scholarship for her "academic achievement, enthusiasm for teaching and learning, advocacy for students with special needs and their families, leadership, wit, compassion and integrity."
Houppert was a leader both on and off the court in her time with the Knights. She served as the team's representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member and also was the student representative on the department's Associate Athletic Director search committee. She was active with Relay for Life as well as the Learning Independence Vocational and Educational Skills (LIVES) program, helping to tutor and mentor students with disabilities as they prepare to transition from high school to college. Voted team captain during her senior season, Houppert helped guide the members of the squad through the tragic deaths of two teammates during an 11-month span.
Outside of campus, Houppert was a counselor at Rotary Sunshine Camp, working with children and young adults with mild to severe disabilities. As a fifth-grader, she began a volunteer program called Kara's Kans, collecting and recycling bottles and cans while donating the funds to local charities. The organization has donated over $12,000 over the past 12 years.
Houppert will be considered for the NCAA Woman of the Year award among a total of 543 total nominees across all three NCAA divisions. A selection committee will pare the list down to 10 honorees from each division, before narrowing those 30 names down to three honorees from each division. The committee on Women's Athletics will then select a winner from those final nine. For more information about the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, visit NCAA.org.