KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The UTA men's basketball program's commitment to excellence on and off the court was proven again recently when the Mavericks were honored with a Team Academic Excellence Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
In addition, recent graduate Jalen Jones and rising junior Patrick Binzer were honored as members of the NABC's 2016-17 Honors Court, which recognizes college basketball student-athletes who excelled in academics during the past season.
"As excited as I am about the direction of our program competitively, I could not be more proud of the progress our student-athletes have made in the classroom," said UTA head coach Scott Cross, a 2-time Academic All-America selection as a Maverick basketball student-athlete. "Our team grade point average has steadily risen over the last several years, especially after we significantly increased our resources with the addition of College Park Center. Our academic services are first-class and our academic counselor, Courtney Burken, does a fantastic job."
UTA, which posted a 3.0 team GPA in the spring, was one of just 220 schools across all divisions of the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA to earn the honor. The Mavericks are one of just two Sun Belt Conference programs to earn the honor.
Created by the NABC Committee on Academics, these awards recognize outstanding academic achievement by teams with cumulative grade point averages (GPA) of 3.0 or better for the 2016-17 season.
In order to earn a NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, institutions in the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA must count the grade point averages of all men's basketball student-athletes who competed during the 2016-17 season.
Binzer, (Weatherford, Texas) is a mathematics major, while Jones (Cedar Hills, Texas) received a degree in interdisciplinary studies in May. The NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents and gifts that these men possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom.
In order to be named to the Honors Court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The qualifications are as follows:
1. Academically a junior or senior and a varsity player.
2. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year.
3. Students must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution.
4. Member of a NCAA Division I, II, III, or NAIA Division I or II institution with a NABC member coach.
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