SALEM, Va. – The Rotary Club of Salem (Va.) announced Hanover men's basketball senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) as one of 10 finalists for the national Jostens Trophy Tuesday afternoon.
McKinney, the program's first Jostens Trophy finalist, will continue through the review process, with a national selection committee of 30 or more individuals determining one male and female student-athlete to receive the prestigious honor. The senior is the only athlete from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, male or female, to be named a finalist.
The Jostens Trophy is awarded to the outstanding NCAA Division III men's and women's basketball players who excel on the court, in the classroom and in the community. 2018 marks the 21st edition of the awards, with the inaugural trophies bestowed in 1998. The 2018 award winners will be presented with the trophies Thursday, March 15, at the Salem Civic Center, in conjunction with the NCAA Division III men's and women's basketball semifinals and championships.
McKinney, who was named to the HCAC First Team earlier Tuesday, is a three-time all-conference selection and was named the league's Athlete of the Year both for men's basketball and all sports during the 2016-17 campaign. The senior has continued to rake in the awards this season, highlighted by a pair of preseason all-American honors from D3hoops.com and Street & Smith's magazine.
Not only has McKinney been stellar on the court over the past three-plus years at Hanover, but the Economics major has also found success in the classroom. The senior was a 2016-17 CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-American and was recently named to the organization's first team all-district this year, meaning he has a chance at another national academic award in early March. A two-time Tom Bohlsen Academic All-HCAC selection, McKinney has been named to Hanover College's Dean's List five out of seven semesters.
When he is not draining three's or studying for his next exam, the senior is spending time doing community service with many organizations and clubs on campus. The Hanover men's basketball three-point field goal record holder is a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity on campus and has participated in their annual "Football Run" event, which raises money for the American Red Cross. He has also participated with Habitat for Humanity and the "Panther Pick-Up."
McKinney, who is the seventh leading scorer all-time at HC with 1,646 points, has helped guide the Panthers to back-to-back 20-win seasons, HCAC regular season and tournament championships, and NCAA Division III National Tournament appearances. As a junior, McKinney averaged 21.3 points and 6.3 rebounds over four NCAA Tournament games, which was highlighted by his buzzer-beating jumper at Hope (Mich.), which sent Hanover to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history.
Hanover will open 2017-18 NCAA Tournament play against LeTourneau (Texas) in Atlanta, Ga. this weekend. The Panthers and YellowJackets will tip off at 5:30 p.m., Friday, March 2, in the first game of the Emory (Ga.)-based pod.
Contact: Tyler Jester