Dart Named as a Finalist for the Jostens Trophy

Senior Post is Willamette's Sixth Jostens Trophy Finalist

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University men's basketball senior post and team co-captain Sean Dart (Bend, OR/Mountain View HS/Eastern Oregon Univ.) has been named as a finalist for the prestigious Jostens Trophy.

The Jostens Trophy, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salem, Va., is given each year to the nation's top NCAA Division III men's basketball player, taking into account basketball ability, academic success, and community service. The trophy models the Rotary International motto of "Service Above Self" by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded Division III student-athlete.

Dart is one of 10 finalists for this year's Trophy, and he is the sixth Willamette player to be named a finalist in the award's 16 year history. Previous finalists from Willamette are Brad Nelson (1999), Shawn Gahr (2000), current Head Coach Kip Ioane (2001), Ryan Hepp (2003), and Cameron Mitchell (2010).

In 2012-13, Dart led the Northwest Conference in field goal percentage, connecting on 59.4% of his attempts (111 of 187). He also led the NWC in total rebounding, hauling down 201 boards during the year. His average of 8.0 rebounds per game ranked second in the conference.

Dart averaged 11.3 points per game this season, reaching double figures in 16 of Willamette's 25 contests. He recorded seven double-doubles, including a 23 point, 14 rebound effort against the University of Redlands on Dec. 18, 2012. Dart connected on 9 of 15 shots (60%) during that game.

Earlier in the year, he turned in an 18 point, 17 rebound performance in an 83-80 victory at archrival Linfield College on Dec. 4, 2012, shooting 7-11 (63.6%) from the field. On Jan. 19, 2013, Dart nailed 89% of his field goal attempts (8 of 9) in a game at Whitman College.

As a junior, Dart recovered from serious knee surgery to start 17 games for the Bearcats. All told, Dart has recovered from three different knee surgeries during his basketball career while continuing to excel on the court.

During his sophomore season at Willamette, Dart scored a career-high 31 points against Northwest Christian University on Nov. 20, 2010. That same year, Dart ranked second in NCAA Division III in field goal percentage, shooting 112 of 168 (66.7%) from the floor while averaging 13.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Dart transferred to Willamette after playing one season at Eastern Oregon University. In his three years at Willamette, Dart compiled 706 points and 446 rebounds in 66 games from 2010-11 through 2012-13. He averaged 10.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while attaining a field goal percentage of 62.3% during his career as a Bearcat.

The selection process for the Jostens Trophy also considers each nominee's academic endeavors and community service. Dart, an English major, has a cumulative GPA of 3.21 and works as the sports editor of Willamette's award-winning student newspaper, the Collegian. He also serves as a peer tutor in the Willamette University Writing Center.

His community service efforts include a variety of activities. Since 2011, Dart has worked closely with at-risk youth in the Salem-Keizer School District through the Oregon College Mentors Program. He was recognized as Peer Mentor of the Year in 2011.

Dart has also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and worked as a counselor and coach at Willamette's highly attended Pro Hoop Camps, which serve youth ages 10-17.

Voters’ ballots for the Jostens Trophy are due by March 13, with the winning schools expected to be notified by March 15. The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 21 at the Salem (Va.) Civic Center in conjunction with the men's NCAA Division III quarterfinals and semifinals being hosted in Salem, Va., on March 22-23.

COMPLETE LIST

2012-13 Jostens Trophy Finalists

Sean Dart averaged 11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting 59.4% from the floor this season.

Sean Dart led the Northwest Conference in field goal percentage and total rebounding this year.

Sean Dart led the Northwest Conference in field goal percentage and total rebounding this year.