McKendree's John Steppe Named Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year by GLVC

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Published on June 20 2013 9:08 pm
Last Updated on June 20 2013 9:23 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

McKendree University senior forward John Steppe (Effingham, IL/St. Anthony) collected one of the top individual academic honors from the Great Lakes Valley Conference on Thursday as he was named as the 2012-13 GLVC Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Steppe becomes the first Bearcat to earn the award from the GLVC. McKendree competed as members of the GLVC for the first time during the 2012-13 academic year.

"John has done a tremendous job of balancing academics and basketball," said McKendree men's basketball coach Harry Statham. "He was the recipient of the Biology Award at our Honor's Day Convocation and was also voted our Most Valuable Player in men's basketball. John was a leader of our team and was a consistent, high-level performer in every GLVC game. I am thrilled to see him recognized for his dedication and hard work."

Steppe was a solid performer for McKendree both on the basketball court and in the classroom in 2012-13. He was a second-team All-GLVC selection for the Bearcats after averaging 17.8 points per game during his senior year. Steppe led McKendree in rebounding at 7.4 per game while also leading the squad with 91 assists. He shot nearly 79 percent from the free throw line as well.

In GLVC play, Steppe ranked second in the league in minutes played, third in scoring, sixth in rebounding and 10th in assists. Back in November, Steppe became the 47th member of the Bearcats' 1,000-point club with a 27-point effort at Lincoln University. Steppe closed his McKendree career with 1,462 points and sits 26th on the Bearcats' all-time scoring list. In addition, Steppe finished in the Bearcats' career top 10 in three-point field goals (191), assists (321) and steals (134).

In the classroom, Steppe graduated with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.68 while majoring in biology. That includes a perfect 4.0 GPA in his final semester. Earlier this week, Steppe was one of 159 McKendree student-athletes honored as a 2012-13 Academic All-GLVC recipient.

"This is definitely a great honor," said Steppe. "I have always tried to put my work in the classroom first, and basketball second. To have this award come in our first year in the GLVC makes this even more special. I have had a great experience at McKendree, building relationships with my professors, coaches, fellow students and everyone I have come in contact with over the years. I would do it all again."

The league selects one student-athlete in each conference sport to be designated the GLVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The award is based upon athletic accomplishments, both team and individual, and academic performance in the season upon which the award is based. Each conference member has the opportunity to nominate one individual from its team for the award. Nominees must have a cumulative grade point average which meets Academic All-America standards (3.30), and freshmen and first-year transfers are not eligible for the award. The voting is completed by each member institution's Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR).

John is the son of Tom and Debbie Steppe of Effingham.