Campus News

Morton College only Illinois community college named to WBCA’s academic top 25

By Morton College News | Posted August 19, 2013

The 2012-13 women's basketball team, selected to the Women's Basketball Coaches Asssociation Academic Top 25.

The women’s basketball program at Morton College landed a prestigious post-season academic accolade when the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced the Panthers finished in its Academic Top 25.


Morton College finished ninth in the junior/community college division with a 3.137 grade-point average on a 4-point scale. Nine of Morton College’s 14 players had a GPA of above 3.2 during the 2012-13 academic year.


The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes women’s basketball teams across the nation in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, the NAIA, and junior/community colleges that carry the highest combined grade point averages (GPAs) inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2012-13 season is the 18th in which the WBCA has produced the honor rolls.


“I am extremely proud of the young ladies on this year’s team,” Morton College women’s basketball coach Larry Lanciotti said. “The hard work and dedication they put in to accomplish this was greatly appreciated by our athletic staff. We hope to make this list every year.”


Lanciotti praised assistant coach Julie Blinder for the important role she played in the team’s academic success.


Morton College was the only Illinois community college honored. In addition, the women’s basketball team also was the second athletic program at Morton College honored for academic achievement this season. Men’s cross country received an NJCAA Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honor.


Rebecca Bell led Morton College with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Her twin sister, Brooke, finished with a 3.68, followed by Samantha Bruce (3.66), Maricella Ruiz (3.65), Yesica Garcia (3.57), Angela LoConte (3.43), Dana Kraft (3.41), Joanna Garcia (3.33) and Jessica Garcia (3.24).


“We care greatly about their success academically,” Lanciotti said. “When they are considering coming to Morton College, we tell them that taking care of business in the classroom is their first priority. This was an excellent group to work with.”


Morton College’s 16-15 record was the Panthers’ first winning campaign since 2000-01. Lanciotti believes Morton College’s success on the court and in the classroom went hand-in-hand.



The 2012-13 women’s basketball team, selected to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Asssociation Academic Top 25.


“This is a fantastic accomplishment by our women’s basketball program,” said Rich Fullriede, athletic director at Morton College. “This honor is a great way to cap off what has been a banner season in both academics and athletics at Morton College. Congratulations to our coaching staff and the women’s basketball program.”

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