(WCIA) — Millikin junior guard Elyce Knudsen has won the Jostens Trophy, which honors the top men’s and women’s basketball players in NCAA Division III. The Unity native is the first Millikin basketball player to win the award since it began in 1998.

Knudsen was also selected to the 2023 WBCA Coaches’ All America team. This past season, she averaged 22.3 points per game, ranking second in the country in total points and sixth in scoring average.

Check out the full release below:

“DECATUR, Illinois—Millikin University junior guard Elyce Knudsen (Philo, Tolono Unity H.S.) was named the winner of the prestigious Jostens Trophy honoring the top men’s and women’s basketball players in NCAA Division III on March 23.

Knudsen becomes the first Millikin basketball player to win the award since it began in 1998. The College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) swept this year’s awards with Tyson Cruickshank of Wheaton College winning on the men’s side.

Official Jostens Trophy Release

The Jostens Trophy honors are national awards created by the Rotary Club of Salem and sponsored by Jostens, Inc., to recognize the most outstanding men’s and women’s Division III basketball players of the year. The awards focus on three major criteria: basketball ability, academic prowess, and service to one’s surrounding communities. The Jostens Trophy models the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of a well-rounded Division III student-athlete. The 2023 season marks the 25th time the Jostens Trophy honors have been awarded.

“Elyce exemplifies what the Jostens Award is truly about,” said Millikin Head Women’s Basketball Coach Olivia Lett. “She accomplishes everything on the basketball court because of who she is as a person off the court. Her motivation to impact and lead her teammates, friends and family, and those in her community is obvious. Elyce is already cementing herself as one of the best to play Division III basketball but her legacy  to those around her will be defined by her work ethic and selflessness.”

The Jostens trophy caps a post-season filled with awards and national recognition for Knudsen. Last week she was named to the College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-America® First Team recognizing student-athletes for their athletic and academic excellence, and was selected to 2023 WBCA NCAA Division III Coaches’ All-America team, announced by Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Earlier this month, Knudsen was named the D3hoops.com Region 8 Player of the Year and named to the All-Region First Team. The D3hoops.com All-America team will be announced in the next week leading into the NCAA DIII Women’s Championship game being played on April 1. Knudsen was the CCIW Lori Kerans Student-Athlete of the Year and a unanimous CCIW First Team selection for the second straight season. She averaged 22.3 points per game in 2022-23 ranking her second in the country in total points with 647 and is sixth in scoring average. She averaged 4.8 rebounds with 78 assists, 68 steals and 19 blocks.

Knudsen is a team leader on and off the court. She has a 3.91 grade point average majoring in finance. She along with teammate Bailey Coffman founded a reading club at local Decatur-area public schools called “Book-it,” which creates opportunities for Millikin student-athletes to go into schools two times each month to read to students and answer questions. She volunteers at Macon Resources, Inc., working with special needs children and adults. She served as the lead clinician at the Millikin Women’s Basketball Camp and Decatur Park District Camp this past summer and trains youth basketball players in Central Illinois.”