SALEM, VA – The Rotary Club of Salem, Virginia has announced that Williams senior co-captain Blake Schultz is one of 10 finalists for the Jostens Trophy awarded annually to the nation’s top Division III men’s and women’s players of the year.
The Jostens Trophy’s national panel of voters will select the winning student-athlete based on basketball ability, academic ability and community service. The presentation of the Jostens Trophy will be March 18th in Salem, the day before the Men’s Final Four begins at the Salem Civic Center.
This year the national panel of voters received a record number of nominations in the 13-year history of the award.
The first male to win the men’s Jostens Trophy was the Ephs’ Michael Nogelo in 1998.
Finalists under consideration along with Blake Schultz include: Brian Altmann (Mary Washington), Zach Ashworth (Scranton), Josh Hoch (John Carroll), Corey McAdam (Nazreth), Daniel McKeehan (Thomas More), Cameron Mitchell (Willamette) Danny Noll (Centre), Ben Panner (Wheaton (IL) and Aaron Trigg (Gordon).
Schultz is the Ephs’ leading scorer this season with 497 points (18.4 ppg). He has connected on 52% of his field goal attempts (163-313), 51% of his threes (61-119) and 84% of his free throws (110-131), while grabbing 117 rebounds (4.3 rpg) and registering 46 assists (1.7 apg). He leads the Ephs in steals with 42.
A year ago Schultz was a First Team All-NESCAC selection and made the D3hoops.com All-Northeast Third Team. This season he was named First Team All-NESCAC and NESCAC Player of the Year. Twice this season he was named the NESCAC Player of the Week.
Also this season Schultz was named the MVP of the Williams Invitational; Randolph Macon All-Tournament Team; Purple & Gold MVP and he is currently in the top ten all-time at Williams in points (1,410) and rebounds (525). Schultz is also an outstanding defensive player and usually draws the opponent's top player to guard.
An Economics major in the Williams pre-med program, Schultz has reached the Finalist stage of Teach for America. He will defer medical school acceptance to participate in Teach for America for two years.
Schultz is the first two-time winner of the Sinc Hart Award for a Williams men’s basketball player who has been a valued good-will ambassador for his sport, College, and community through community service commitments.
Schultz has also served on the Williams Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for three years and is a three-year member of the nationwide Best Buddies program (mentoring mentally challenged youths) and has served two years as treasurer of Williams chapter.
In addition, Schultz has coordinated the Eph team’s relationship with the local A Better Chance (ABC) program and nearby Berkshire Farm Center (residence facility for juvenile delinquents in New York State), enabling the participants to visit practices to meet and correspond with Eph players. Further, he coordinated free summer basketball camp opportunities for ABC students.
Schultz has also served as co-organizer of the Williams Bball Care for Cancer event, which generated $12,000 in two years. He has participated in the “Dream to Read” program at Williamstown Elementary School and worked at basketball clinics in North Adams for four years and is his team’s representative for the annual Toys for Tots drive.