LEBANON — McKendree University senior forward John Steppe, of Effingham, collected one of the top individual academic honors from the Great Lakes Valley Conference on Thursday as he was named the 2012-13 GLVC Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the 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 second-team all-GLVC selection for the Bearcats, averaging 17.8 points and a team-best 7.4 rebounds. His 91 assists led the team and he shot 79 percent from the free-throw line.
Steppe became the 47th member of the Bearcats' 1,000-point club with a 27-point effort at Lincoln University. He finished with 1,462 points and ranks 26th on the Bearcats' all-time scoring list.
Steppe finished in the Bearcats' career top 10 in 3-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."