"John has done a tremendous job of balancing academics and basketball," Statham said. "He was the recipient of the Biology Award at our Honor's Day Convocation and was also voted our Most Valuable Player in men's basketball. John was a leader of our team and was a consistent, high-level performer in every GLVC game. I am thrilled to see him recognized for his dedication and hard work."
While it's off to dental school now, Steppe can look back upon an excellent Division II basketball career. He became the 47th Bearcat to score 1,000 points for his career after reaching the plateau in November. He finished the season 26th on that career list with 1,462 points, and ending in the top 10 for three-pointers (191), assists (321) and steals (134).
Steppe went from averaging 8.9 points per game as a freshman to 7.4 as a sophomore, and then emerged as McKendree's leading scorer as a junior with 13.9 points per game. He upped his game further this year with 17.8 points per game and 7.4 rebounds, finishing as the team leader in assists and rebounds while finishing second in scoring.
It was a bit of a surprise to his coaches as well, in terms of the evolution of his game.
"The expierence was great. My coaches told me, 'We never expected to amount to what you did,'" Steppe said. "I was supposed to be a three-point shooter."
Basketball is over and a dental career is beginning, but Steppe appreciates the evolution of both his athletics and academics.
"Just really, it's a great program, McKendree," he said. "They can build you what you want to be. I went into the biology field, there's a great professor, I was just surrounded by good people. They allowed me to do good on the court and in the classroom at the same time."