Lebanon Valley point guard Jon-David Byers and Trinity (Texas) center Tara Rohde have been named the 2005 recipients of the Jostens Award.
The award honors the most outstanding men and women's Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account basketball ability, academic prowess and community service. The trophy models the Rotary motto of “Service above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded Division III student-athlete.
Rohde, a senior from Norman, Okla., is a 6-2 center on the Tiger women's basketball squad averaging 16.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per contest this season. She helped her team to an NCAA bid and sectional appearance, including the Tigers' second conference title in three years.
She started the season on the right foot being named a preseason D3hoops.com all-American. She was twice named the SCAC Player of the Week and scored her 1,000th career point.
The political science and economics major is a force in the classroom posting an impressive 3.87 GPA. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Blue Key National Honor Society and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She was named a third team Verizon CoSIDA third team all-district all-American in 2003-04. Rohde was also recently selected as a delegate for the Student Conference on United States Affairs, attending a conference at West Point and participating in roundtable discussions on the challenges of terrorism.
J.D. Byers, a senior from Westminster, Md., averaged 22.7 points per game and 4.0 assists on the season. A Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year candidate, Byers was a preseason first team all-America selection of D3hoops.com.
A business administration/accounting major with a 3.85 grade-point average, Byers was named as the ESPN The Magazine College Division Men's Basketball Academic All-America of the Year this season, becoming Lebanon Valley's first-ever academic all-America of the year. A third team academic all-America in both basketball and golf last season, he was named first team academic all-America this season.He was a third team Academic All-America selection in 2003-04.
Byers will be honored on Thursday, March 17, in Salem. If Trinity continues to advance in the NCAA Tournament, alternate arrangements will be made to honor Rohde. The Tigers play at the Randolph-Macon sectional this weekend.