Rio's Smith & Davis earn NAIA honors
JACKSON, Tenn. ---- Two members of the University of Rio Grande RedStorm women's basketball team have earned NAIA honors for the 2010-11 season. Senior guard Jenna Smith earned NAIA Honorable Mention All-American honors on the court and was named as an NAIA Scholar-Athlete for her work in the classroom. Senior point guard Bre Davis (Marietta, OH) was also awarded an NAIA Scholar-Athlete designation.
Smith, a 5-8 shooting guard from Bellefontaine, OH, had a banner season for the RedStorm. She led the team in scoring at 18.2 points per game and ended up second in the NAIA with 110 made three-pointers. She was ranked in the top five nationally in three other offensive categories (made 3's per game, three-point percentage and free-throw percentage).
Smith also eclipsed the 1,000-career point mark this season and will leave Rio Grande as the No. 8 scorer all-time with 1,544 points.
Smith had previously been named to the All-MSC team and was an MSC Academic all-conference award winner as well.
"Jenna without a doubt has been one of the purest shooters that we've had in this program over the years," said Rio Grande head coach David Smalley. "Her basketball I.Q. is extremely high, she is very versatile, can play the off-guard and the point guard position. She basically put us on her shoulders this year and led us to our success."
"To break into this into this category in the NAIA, especially in Division I women's basketball, you have to do a lot of things extremely well," Smalley added. "We're very proud of Jenna for receiving and earning this award. We're extremely excited for Jenna and for our program."
"To be able to cap off a senior year eclipsing the 1,000-point plateau, which she did earlier in the year and reaching the level of NAIA All-American honorable mention is fantastic," he said. "This just proves that hard work does pay off, she's just a tremendous player to coach, a good leader, she set the example in the classroom, during practice and on the court and we're extremely proud of Jen for earning NAIA All-American honorable mention for 2010-11."
Rio Grande finished the season at 19-13 overall and 9-9 in the Mid-South Conference. The RedStorm advanced to the semifinals of the MSC Tournament.
Both Smith and Davis were among 127 women's basketball players to be named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.
"As the basketball coach for the University of Rio Grande for 19 years, I can honestly say that this is one of the most celebrated and one of the most cognitive groups of seniors that I have ever had," said Smalley. "This epitomizes the production and the accomplishments that these two young ladies have garnered throughout their four-year career."
"They're being celebrated and honored now as seniors, which is very fitting," Smalley added. "Every year they have always done what they needed to do in the classroom, which is be a student first and they're very conscientious about that and have been from day one."
Davis is majoring in Sports & Exercise Studies with a minor in Business Management. "Bre has a cumulative grade point average of 3.7 and to me that takes focus, the ability to plan and organize and be able to juggle a ton of things that young college-aged students have to go through today," Smalley said. "This is really rewarding to me as an individual and to the program and the university."
"I'm very proud of Bre Davis for this award, it certainly puts her in a group where she belongs, which is with the elite," Smalley added. "I personally think that Bre is one of the top point guards that we've ever had in this program. She is very deserving of this award and on behalf of the women's basketball program we want to congratulate Bre Davis on this latest award."
Smith is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. "Her hard work on the court is a mirror-image of what she does in the classroom," Smalley said. "She has a cumulative grade point average of over a 3.8. The classroom has been her drive, her focus, her goal to be as good as she possibly can in the classroom."
"We're extremely proud of Jen and want to congratulate her for earning the NAIA Scholar-Athlete award for the 2010-11 season," Smalley added.