Omanovic Chosen as Jostens Trophy Finalist

Omanovic Chosen as Jostens Trophy Finalist

NEWTON, Mass. (2/28/17) – Senior guard Armin Omanovic (Wilkesboro, N.C.) has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Jostens Trophy, as announced by the Rotary Club of Salem, Va. on Tuesday afternoon. This season marks the 20th presentation of the award, with the inaugural trophies bestowed in 1998.

The Jostens Trophy is a national award created by the Rotary Club of Salem to honor the most outstanding men's and women's NCAA Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess, and community service. The trophy models the Rotary International motto of "Service Above Self" by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded NCAA Division III student-athlete.

Recently named to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) First Team, Omanovic averaged 28 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 43.2% from the field and 81.7% from the free throw line. The senior leads the GNAC in both points per game and total points this season (673), despite having missed the season's final four contests.

On the Division III national stage, Omanovic ranks second to Ty Sabin of Ripon College in points per game, and third in total points – a category of which he was the nation's leader on the week of Jan. 30.

In addition to his athletic abilities, Omanovic's community efforts supported his nomination tremendously. In the fall of 2016, he organized an Escalation Workshop where the Lasell men's basketball team was trained in sexual and domestic violence prevention. Omanovic, along with two other teammates, led the team in a vow to be active bystanders in the fight against sexual and domestic violence. Omanovic also participated in the Clothesline Project, which allowed Lasell survivors of sexual and domestic abuse to tell their stories by decorating and displaying shirts. Omanovic additionally helped start the Heal the Hurt Foundation to raise funds and awareness for feeding the homeless and volunteered his time at the Boston Food Bank. 

The Jostens Trophy holds familiarity within Lasell men's basketball, as alum and all-time leading scorer Jose Guitian was named a finalist in 2009. Head Coach Aaron Galletta was also a finalist for the award in 2002, as an NABC All-American for the Dutchmen of Union College.

Twenty student-athletes -- 10 men and 10 women -- remain in the running for this season's honors from a record number of candidates in the original pool. The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 16 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the NCAA Division III men's basketball semifinals and championship in Salem, Va., on March 17-18.

The Rotary Club of Salem's Jostens Trophy Committee employs a numerical rating to narrow the list of finalists so that the decision can be made on the most objective basis possible.  The 20 finalists continue through the review process, with a national selection committee of 32 individuals charged with determining the two winners of the 2016 Jostens Trophy honors.

Listed below are the finalists for the 2017 Jostens Trophy:

Men's finalists

Women's finalists

Harrison Blackledge, Hope College
Sam Borst-Smith, University of Rochester
AJ Edwards, Marietta College
Brandon Federici, Franklin & Marshall College
Evan Greening, Pitt-Bradford
DeShawn Lowman, Neumann University
Armin Omanovic, Lasell College
Matt St. Amour, Middlebury College
Zach Wallace, Rockford University
Steven Weidlich, Susquehanna University

Cary Beahm, Roanoke College
Ali Doswell, Amherst College
Sara Dyslin, Hendrix College
Mikaela Eppard, Elmhurst College
Alexandra Leslie, University of Rochester
Katie McDaniels, Wheaton (Ill.) College
Camille McPherson, Moravian College
Lisa Murphy, Carnegie Mellon University
Sara Tarbert, Stevenson University
Kelsey Tietje, Defiance College


Official Rotary Club of Salem Announcement