The Big 12 Scholar-Athletes of the Year for the 2015-16 winter sport season have been announced. The following student-athletes have been selected as the award winners for their respective sports based on a vote of each sport’s head coaching group.
2016 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Perry Ellis, Kansas, Sr., Wichita, Kan./Wichita Heights
Ellis repeats as the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year following a senior season that saw the Wichita, Kansas native collect multiple on and off the court accolades. A sport management major nominated with a 3.26 grade point average, Ellis is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree in addition to earning a spot on the Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team his freshman year. In his senior year alone, he has been named to multiple All-America teams in addition to being tabbed one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award. He completed his Jayhawk career eighth on the Kansas career scoring list.
2016 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Kindred Wesemann, Kansas State, Jr., Pleasant Hill, Mo./Pleasant Hill
A three-time recipient of Academic All-Big 12 honors, Wesemann holds down a 3.58 grade point average in kinesiology studies at K-State. The junior is a 2014 Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team selection, along with a 2015 and 2016 Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree. She is also a five-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll member. Wesemann is coming off a junior season in which she started all 32 games for the Wildcats, finishing 12th in the Big 12 in scoring while also earning K-State’s Defensive MVP honor.
2016 Big 12 Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Samantha Pearsall, Iowa State, Sr., La Grange, Ill./Lyons Township
An all around competitor for the Cyclones, Pearsall is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree nominated with a 3.83 grade point average in marketing. Pearsall has competed for the Cyclones in nine meets on balance beam and has contributed to the line-ups on both uneven bars and floor. Last season, she tied the Iowa State record on balance beam with a 9.950 in her first competition after missing a majority of the 2014 season due to injury. Pearsall has been a strong and consistent competitor for the Cyclones and served as a leader to the team as one of three competing seniors in the 2016 season.
2016 Big 12 Equestrian Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Justine Peters, Oklahoma State, Sr., Dalton, Neb./Leyton
Peters carries a perfect 4.00 grade point average while majoring in nutritional sciences/applied health at Oklahoma State. The senior has represented with a 4.00 GPA on the 2016 and 2014 Academic All-Big 12 Equestrian First Team and the 2013 Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team. Peters participated in all of OSU’s competition on the season as the Cowgirls claimed the 2016 Big 12 Equestrian title. She is also a 2015 NCEA Academic Honor Roll member.
2016 Big 12 Men’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Nathan Howells, West Virginia, Jr., Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point
Howells is a biochemistry major with a 3.90 grade point average. He is a two-time member of the Academic All-Big 12 Swimming & Diving Team, representing with a 4.00 GPA in 2015 after also sporting a perfect GPA on the 2014 Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team.
2016 Big 12 Women’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Sara Brzozowski, TCU, Sr., Brookfield, Wis./Brookfield East
Brzozowski is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 Swimming & Diving honoree in addition to earning a selection on the 2013 Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team. Majoring in nursing, the senior was nominated with a 3.945 grade point average. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Big 12’s Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award, the conference’s highest academic honor.
2016 Big 12 Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Adam Jackson, Air Force, Sr., Rosemount, Minn./Rosemount
Jackson, a pre-med major, holds a 3.89 grade point average and was named to the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 Wrestling First Team. Awarded the Health Professions Scholarship Program scholarship in April 2015, he was accepted into the University of Minnesota Medical School last fall. He has been named to the Dean’s and Director of Athletics List every semester. This past season, he recorded a 14-10 overall record.
Tanner Harms, Wyoming, Sr., Mechanical Engineering, Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek
Harms, a mechanical engineering major, was nominated with a 3.77 grade point average and represented on the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 Wrestling First Team. Harms finished second in the heavyweight division at the 2016 Big 12 Championship, repeated as an NCAA qualifier and finished the season with a 22-6 record.
The Big 12 Conference established its Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2012-13. A recipient is named in each of the Conference’s sponsored sports. Each Big 12 institution nominates one individual per sport with the winners selected by a vote of the league’s head coaches for that sport, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
Scholar-Athlete of the Year nomination criteria includes:
• must be a junior or senior (athletic and academic standing)
• cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher
• participation in at least 60 percent of the team’s scheduled contests
• minimum of one year in residence at the institution