Alex Linden, Sports Information Director
LINCOLN – Nebraska Wesleyan University junior men’s basketball player Cooper Cook has been named as the 2017-18 Google Cloud NCAA Division III Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Cook, who was voted the Men’s Basketball Academic All-American® of the Year this winter, becomes the first Nebraska Wesleyan student-athlete to be named an overall division Academic All-American ® of the Year award winner.
“I’m extremely honored and humbled to be selected for such a prestigious award,” said Cook, a two-time Academic All-America® selection with a 3.97 GPA in accounting. “I feel very proud and lucky to represent a national championship team that not only values success on the court, but also takes pride in being successful in the classroom every day.
“This recognition extends much farther than myself. As I would not be in the position I am today without my incredible teammates, coaches, professors and administrators at Wesleyan who have provided me with so much support both academically and athletically, and have made my experience at NWU better than I could have ever imagined.”
Cook, a 6-foot-5 forward from Overland Park, Kansas, put together an MVP performance in leading Nebraska Wesleyan to the program’s first NCAA Division III National Championship in 2017-18. He made 24 three-pointers during the tournament and sank 24 of 24 free throws over his last 12 games.
A two-time Firstst-Team All-Iowa Conference selection, Cook averaged 16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game to lead the Prairie Wolves to a second straight IIAC regular season championship and a school best 30-3 overall record. He connected on 50.1 percent from the field including 42.3 percent from the 3-point line and hit 86 percent of his free throws.
“I couldn’t be happier for Coop,” NWU head coach Dale Wellman said. “He is an unbelievably deserving recipient of this great honor. He has an unequalled approach to academics and is a tremendous basketball player. He is the epitome of a Division III student-athlete who does everything at the highest level.”
Cook, who is NWU’s single season and career blocked shots leader, goes into his senior season with 1,362 points, 427 rebounds and 127 blocked shots. He also is fourth all-time with 223 three points. His resume also includes First-Team NABC and D3hoops.com All-West Region honors, four IIAC Player of the Week awards, a spot on the All-Nebraska team and a pair of IIAC All-Academic team honors.
He joins Cornerstone University’s Kyle Steigenga, who was named the Google Cloud College Division Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year on Monday.
As an institution, Nebraska Wesleyan takes great pride in the CoSIDA Academic All-America® program as they rank eighth among all schools with 173 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans® to rank 8th in the entire nation, regardless of division.