Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

July 11, 2013

Steppe named GLVC Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year

St. Anthony alum earns honor in final season

Since graduating from McKendree University, St. Anthony almunus John Steppe has exchanged drilling threes for drilling teeth.

The four-year player at McKendree was given one last honor in June, capping off his career by being named the 2012-13 Great Lakes Valley Conference Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Steppe became the first Bearcat to win the award as a member of the GLVC, as the McKendree program joined the conference last season.

"I found out about two weeks ago," Steppe said. "I was ecstatic, a great honor to be the scholar athlete of the year. I couldn't have asked for anything more for receiving the award."

Steppe's career path is now taking him to dental school, as he'll be attending Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in the fall. He's currently working at Heartland Family Dental Care in Effingham.

He was the school's basketball nomination by their Faculty Athletic Representative, and the award was based on athletic and academic performance in the season which the award is based. Nominees had to have a GPA of 3.30, meeting Academic All-American standards. Steppe cleared that easily, finishing his final semester with a 4.0 and a cumulative GPA of 3.68.

"I have always tried to put my work in the classroom first, and basketball second," Steppe said in a press release from McKendree. "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."

McKendree coach Harry Statham agreed with the call to tab his senior as the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

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