(SALEM, Va.) – Carnegie Mellon University women's basketball senior Lisa Murphy (McLean, Va./McLean) has been selected as the 2017 Jostens Trophy award winner. Murphy was honored as the top women's basketball player for her excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
The Jostens Trophy is a symbol of excellence for the Division III student-athlete. Nominees are screened based on basketball ability, academic performance and extracurricular and/or civic activities exemplifying the Rotary Club of Salem, Virginia's motto of "Service Above Self."
"It is an unbelievable honor to have been chosen as the recipient of the Jostens Trophy," said Murphy. "Academics, basketball, and community service are huge parts of my life. The fact that the Jostens Trophy takes into account so many of the things I believe in ̶ giving back, supporting the community, and being a good person ̶ makes the recognition so special. I wouldn't even be considered for an award like this without my teammates and I thank them greatly for pushing me on and off the court to be the best I can be."
Murphy has established herself as the best player in Carnegie Mellon history and sits amongst the greatest players in the history of the University Athletic Association (UAA) and Division III as a whole. Murphy is the UAA career scoring leader with 2,306 points. She averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds for the third straight year in 2016-17, while leading the nation in field-goal percentage (78.0%) for the third consecutive year. She is one of only eight players in Division III history to record 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career blocks.
In 2016, Murphy became the first All-America honoree in Carnegie Mellon women's basketball history as she was recognized by both the WBCA and D3hoops.com. She is a two-time UAA Player of the Year and garnered 2017 Great Lakes Region Player of the Year by D3hoops.com.
One of the most impressive feats of Murphy's career at Carnegie Mellon is the transformation of the basketball program. In 2015-16 she helped lead the program to its first winning season since 2002-03 and first NCAA tournament appearance since 1990-91 where the Tartans advanced to the sectional semifinal for the first time in school history. In her four years, the Tartans are a combined 66-40, compared to a 33-68 record the four years prior. The 2016-17 Tartans finished as the ECAC Champions and tied the school record for wins in a season with 21.
In the classroom, Murphy maintains a 3.84 cumulative grade point average as a psychology major. She is the vice president of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society, and was elected to the academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. In 2016 Murphy was named a First Team Academic All-America, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). In 2017, CoSIDA named her the Academic All-American of the Year.
In addition to her academic and athletic exploits, Murphy has been very active in the community. As a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, she has participated in the annual Field Day and Thanksgiving food drives. She also organized and ran a 3v3 event for Special Olympics, which included managing more than 100 athletes, parents and coaches. Murphy helps clean up local trails along the riverfront and has joined forces with First Trinity Homeless Ministry to deliver lunches to the homeless near campus.
"This is a great honor to have Lisa selected as the Jostens Trophy Winner for Division III Women's Basketball," said head coach Jacquie Hullah. "She epitomizes all the qualities that are represented in this prestigious award. Lisa is an outstanding person and leader who is passionate about helping others reach their true potential. We want to thank Jostens and the Salem Rotary Club for making this honor possible."
The Jostens Trophy is a joint creation of Jostens, Inc., of Minneapolis, Minn., and the Rotary Club of Salem, Virginia. In addition to the Trophy, the Wooldridge Scholarship, a $1,000 donation, will be presented in the names of the winners to their institutions. The scholarship was named after Dan Wooldridge, a Salem Rotarian and retired Commissioner of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, as a way of honoring him for his long-time dedication to Division III athletics.
The winners were chosen by a national selection committee that consists of college coaches, former athletes, college administrators and selected members of the media.
The awards presentation for the Jostens Trophy is set for March 16, held in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Salem's weekly meeting and as prelude to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball National Championship at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Virginia.
With the honor, Murphy is the fourth women's player in UAA history to receive the award. Alicia Moore of Emory won the first-ever award in 1998 with Alia Fischer of Washington University in St. Louis earning the distinction in 2000. Taylor Simpson of the University of Chicago was named the recipient in 2012.