Wabash College senior guard Jack Davidson earned the Jostens Trophy Award as the NCAA Division III Most Outstanding Men's Basketball Player for the 2021-2022 season.
The Jostens Trophy, created by the Rotary Club of Salem and sponsored by Jostens, Inc., recognizes the most outstanding men's and women's Division III basketball players of the year. The award focuses on three major criteria: basketball ability, academic prowess, and service to one's surrounding communities. The Jostens Trophy models the Rotary International motto of "Service Above Self" by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of a well-rounded Division III student-athlete.
"This is truly an incredible honor and I'm beyond grateful to have been chosen for this prestigious award," Davidson said. "To see all the hours I've put into this game be rewarded means the world to me. Most of all, none of this would be possible without my coaches, teammates, family, friends, and the entire Wabash community."
Davidson led the Little Giants to the semifinals of the 2022 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament for the first time since Wabash won the national title in 1982. Wabash won its first North Coast Athletic Conference regular-season title since joining the league in 1999. The Little Giants also won the conference tournament to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Davidson and his Wabash teammates defeated four ranked teams on the road before eventually losing in the semifinals to national runner-up Elmhurst University.
Davidson earned NCAC Player of the Year honors for the second time in his career and was named the D3hoops.com Region 7 Player of the Year and D3hoops.com First Team All-America. He was also named a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American and a Third Team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Davidson was the nation's third most prolific scorer this year by averaging 25.5 points a game, and he led all of Division III with 817 points. He also led the nation in free throws made with 210 and in three-point field goals made with 123.
"Jack's statistics put him in the most elite basketball company in the history of Wabash College, but also among the best players in Division III," Wabash Head Basketball Coach Kyle Brumett said. "His transcendence as a player can be seen in the growth of the Wabash program from 11 years prior to his arrival, to 28 wins and an NCAA DIII Tournament semifinal appearance. Equally impressive is Jack's focus on his academics and the compassion he shows in many areas of his life."
An economics major with a 3.68 cumulative grade point average, Davidson is a three-time Academic All-American. He is an active member of Wabash's Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship. He has led teams of students working with local businesses and non-profit programs to analyze market conditions, business performance, and economic factors, using that research to develop new business models and marketing strategies.
Davidson and his Wabash teammates are part of the Little Giant basketball team's partnership with HoseElementary School for a program called "Books, Basketball, and Beyond." The players regularly meet with kindergarten and first-grade students to help develop and strengthen reading skills while also serving as positive male role models.
"Over the last five years, I've had the pleasure to watch and cheer for Jack Davidson as a student, community volunteer, and All-American basketball player," Wabash President Scott E. Feller added. "The impact Jack and his teammates are having with members of the Hose Elementary School reading program is immeasurable. They are inspiring a generation of young boys, many of whom don't have father figures in their homes. Jack is the ideal Wabash student-athlete."
Davidson completed his Wabash career as the all-time leader in career scoring for the Little Giants. He tallied 2,464 points in 110 career starts for a school-record 22.4 points-per-game average. He owns the Wabash record for free throws made with 718 in his career and ranks second in all-time assists for the Little Giants with 377. He finished the 2021-22 season shooting 53 percent from the field, 48.2 percent from three-point range, and 90.9 percent from the free throw line. His career shooting numbers are equally impressive. Davidson ends his time at Wabash shooting 48.4 percent overall with a 45.4 percent shooting mark from three-point range. He shot 87.3 percent from the free throw line and broke the NCAA record for consecutive made free throws for all divisions by hitting 95 in a row during a span of 14 games in 2019.
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 is named after Dan Wooldridge, a Salem Rotarian and the retired commissioner that founded the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), for his long-time dedication to Division III athletics.
Hope College's Kenedy Schoonveld was named the women's recipient of the Jostens Trophy.