CARBONDALE – SIU's Rishonda Napier and Kim Nebo were named to the Missouri Valley Conference scholar-athlete first team, the league announced Tuesday.

Napier, a senior guard who is second on the team in scoring (13.4 points per game) and leads the Salukis in assists (134) and steals (44), has a 3.50 GPA in economics. Nebo, a senior forward who is averaging 10.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, has a 4.0 GPA in biological sciences/pre-pharmacy. Napier and Nebo joined Northern Iowa guard Madison Weekly, the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Drake guard Caitlin Ingle and Missouri State forward Liza Fruendt on the first team.

Weekly, a three-time first team scholar-athlete team pick, has a 3.82 GPA in accounting. The senior guard is the Valley's fourth-leading scorer at 15.3 points per game. She became the second UNI student-athlete to earn two Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in women’s basketball, joining former Panther Jacqui Kalin (2011, 2013).

SIU's leading scorer, junior guard/forward Kylie Giebelhausen, made the second team with Drake’s Becca Jonas, Indiana State’s Rhagen Smith, UNI’s Ellie Herzberg and Wichita State’s Rangie Bessard. Giebelhausen (13.8 points per game), has a 3.77 GPA in exercise science. 

The criteria for the scholar-athlete team balloting parallels the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) standards for Academic All-America voting. Nominees must be starters or important reserves, have played at least 75 percent of a team’s games, and must carry at least a 3.20 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Student-athletes must also have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their institution (true and redshirt freshmen are not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at the institution.

A total of 30 Valley student-athletes met the nomination criteria for scholar-athlete honors in 2017.

SIU (16-13) plays Wichita State (14-15) at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals of the MVC women's tournament in Moline. The game will air on ESPN3.


On Twitter: @THefferman


Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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