Vormelker named finalist for national women’s basketball award


GREENVILLE, Pa.—Jess Vormelker ’19 was recently named a finalist for the 2018 Jostens Trophy.

Vormelker, of Orwell, Ohio, is a 2015 Grand Valley High School graduate and a guard on the women’s basketball team. The Jostens Trophy is a national award created by the Rotary Club of Salem (Va.) to honor the most outstanding men’s and women’s NCAA Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess and community service.

The Jostens Trophy models the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded NCAA Division III student-athlete. This year’s class marks the 21st year the awards have been presented.

In late February, Vormelker was named to the All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference second team and to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District first team.

As a CoSIDA Academic All-District first team selection, Vormelker will advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team ballot. First-, second-, and third-team All-America honorees will be announced in March.

Vormelker led the PAC during the regular season in points (494), 3-point shots (79) and finished tied for the most rebounds (238). Her 494 points in 2017-18 ranked fifth in school single-season history, and her 238 rebounds ranked ninth.

Vormelker scored her 1,000th career point on Jan. 27. She ranks ninth on Thiel’s career points list (1,125). Prior to being named to the All-PAC this season, Vormelker was a two-time All-PAC honorable mention pick. She was also named the PAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Scholar-Athlete of the Month in December of 2017.

An early childhood/special education major, Vormelker carries a 3.77 cumulative grade-point average. She was twice named to the PAC Academic Honor Roll and has qualified for Thiel’s Dean’s List each of her five semesters. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an international education honorary, and the National Society of Leadership and Success, the nation’s largest leadership honor society.

Vormelker is the president of Thiel’s SAAC and serves as a resident assistant and as a mentor in Thiel’s Department of Education.

Vormelker is an active volunteer with Akron Hope, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring hope to the next generation through educational and leadership opportunities, and delivers Christmas presents to students of Title 1 schools in and around Akron, Ohio. She also volunteers at the Chad Cooke Classic, an annual Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournament in Chicago, named after her cousin, Chad Cooke, who passed away on Dec. 23, 2014. ChadEffect of Chicagoland, a non-profit organization that provides support and scholarships to under resourced youth, was inspired by Cooke, a NCAA Division I player at the College of Charleston.

A national selection committee will determine the two winners – one male and one female – of the 2018 Jostens Trophy. Ballots from the national selection committee are due by March 8 with the winning schools expected to be notified by March 9. The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 15 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the NCAA Division III men’s basketball semifinals and championship in Salem, Va., on March 16-17.

News Reporter