UWGB women’s basketball ranks No. 6 in nation in grade-point average | Green Bay Press-Gazette
GREEN BAY – When Kevin Borseth arrived on campus to interview for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women’s basketball job in 1998, one of the big impressions made on him that day had nothing to do with the talent on the court.
It instead had to do with what the Phoenix was doing off it.
He was walking on campus when he saw forward Melanie Tilque and guard Kelly Svetz sitting underneath a tree with books opened and studying for class.
This was his kind of place.
“I thought, ‘You know what? A true definition of a student-athlete these kids are,’” said Borseth, who soon became their coach. “Since I’ve been here, we have been able to carry on that tradition.”
Many college basketball fans care only about wins and losses. If a player remains academically eligible, nobody talks much about grade-point averages or big moments in the classroom.
But the Phoenix takes pride in what it has accomplished academically, just as much as all the 20-win seasons, Horizon League championships and NCAA tournament berths.
When the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association last month released its Academic Top 25 list for 2022-23, UWGB was No. 6 in the nation for the highest combined GPA.
The list recognizes NCAA Division I, II, and III programs as well as two-year colleges.
Student-athletes must have been on the roster the entire season to help qualify the team.
The Phoenix had a 3.758 GPA, behind only fellow Horizon League member Robert Morris, Albany, Northern Illinois, North Florida and Maine.
The UWGB’s women’s golf team also finished sixth for the 2022-23 campaign.
This is nothing new for the basketball squad under Borseth. It has finished No. 1 four times.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Borseth said. “It’s a testament to our program over the course of time. Since I’ve been here, we have been able to carry on the tradition.
“A lot of really good kids. It’s a testament to the dedication of our players in the classroom, resources, tutors, everything.”
UWGB is cognizant of how players perform in the classroom when it comes to recruiting.
Sure, it doesn’t matter if they are Einstein if they can’t play at the DI level, but finding athletes who both excel on the court and the classroom is important.
There also are times when players might not have had a sterling academic high school career, but UWGB believes it can bring out the best in them.
“If someone is an at-risk student, we would know that,” Borseth said. “Not that we would shy away from an at-risk student, because sometimes they learn in a different capacity. If they do, we make sure we have the proper resources to take care of that. We’ve had a couple of those. As long as someone is willing to put the effort into the classroom work, we are willing to recruit them.