ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Jon
Ekey of Illinois State University and Natalie Hackbarth of Creighton
University have been selected the Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley
Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Week for the 2011-12 academic year,
Commissioner Doug Elgin announced today. Ekey and Hackbarth were
honored for their performance during the period of November 14-20.
Now in its 13th year of existence, The Valley’s Scholar-Athlete
program is sponsored by Prairie Farms,
Roberts and Hiland Dairies. On a weekly basis, the Conference honors its
student-athletes for their athletic performance for a one-week period
and academic success in the classroom.
A forward for the Illinois State
men’s basketball team, Ekey, a sophomore from Independence, Missouri,
averaged 11.5 points, as the Redbirds downed Southern
Illinois-Edwardsville (68-38 on November 17) and Lipscomb (78-70
on November 19).
Ekey, who has a 3.36 cumulative
grade-point average in business administration, compiled 12 points,
seven rebounds, three assists and three steals against SIUE. Versus
Lipscomb, he was one of five Redbirds to score in double-digits,
as he netted 11 points.
An outside hitter for the Creighton
volleyball team, Hackbarth, a sophomore from Algona, Iowa, turned in
the best effort of her career against Drake on Saturday, November 19, as
she finished with 14 kills, 13 digs and four
blocks in the Bulldogs’ five-set victory.
Hackbarth, who has a 3.709
cumulative grade-point average in journalism, posted a career-best for
kills -- four in the final set. Three of those kills either tied the
score or gave Creighton the lead, including a kill to
give the Bluejays a 10-9 advantage they would not surrender.
To qualify for Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week laurels, student-athletes must carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20, completed at least one academic year at a Valley institution and must be at least a sophomore in academic standing. Redshirt
freshmen and first-year junior college transfers are not eligible. In
addition to the academic qualifications, student-athletes will be
evaluated on their athletic performance for a one-week period.