July 15, 2008
The West Coast Conference Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich announced Tuesday Santa Clara senior basketball player Mitch Henke has been awarded the 2008 WCC Postgraduate Scholarship. The women's award went to Gonzaga's women soccer player Lauren Zuckerman.
"The West Coast Conference is dedicated to supporting the postgraduate success of our remarkable student athletes," Zaninovich said. "We are pleased to honor Mitchell and Lauren as WCC Postgraduate Scholars, and wish them all the best in their future academic studies."
"It is very gratifying to see Mitch win this honor," said Santa Clara athletic director Dan Coonan. "Santa Clara wanted him to come to school here just as much academically as we did athletically. He's been an all star in the classroom since the day he arrived, and was a leader both on the men's basketball team and among student athletes as the President of SAAC. I can't imagine a more deserving recipient."
"We are extremely proud of Mitch and his academic accomplishments here at Santa Clara. It is fitting that he is selected, as he has worked just as hard off the court as he has on," said Santa Clara head basketball coach Kerry Keating. "Mitch played in a lot of games in his career here, and he paralleled that effort by leading our team academically as well. It's no secret that with Mitch's senior leadership this past season, we were able to instill a solid foundation for our program academically that will last long into the future. He has been an exemplary example and a great Bronco."
"I think it is cool to be able to say of all the graduating athletes in the WCC, not just basketball players, I have won the men's postgraduate scholarship," said Henke. "It's a great honor to be able to see all my hard work has paid off. It's not just about academic or athletic performance or work in the community, this scholarship is awarded on the whole effort and that's very exciting. After our season was over Santa Clara's academic coordinator Jason Stock talked to me about the postgraduate scholarship. Graduate school is in the plans as I look to further my education. My professors have told me if I am serious about a career in the business world, grad school would be a good idea. Graduate school will open a lot of doors for me and this scholarship is certainly a step in that direction toward those goals. Right now I am hoping to play a year overseas in Europe. It's up in the air, but it's something I want to do so hopefully it will all work out."
"I thank Jason Stock for telling me about this opportunity and helping me along the way," continued Henke. "I appreciate the help and guidance of the basketball coaches - both the current and former staffs. I would also like to thank the academic and athletic support staffs for helping me get the most out of college both athletically and academically. I feel very honored today."
Henke, a finance major, finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.76. He was also a two-time CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII First Team selection, a three-time WCC All-Academic Team selection and a member of the 2008 Division I-AAA Scholar Athlete Team. Henke was a four-year member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and served as President his senior year. Henke's career aspiration is to be an investment banker on Wall Street, and he has interned with Cargill and hopes to attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
On the court, Henke was a four-year letter-winner and three-year starter. He played and started in all 31 games as a senior, and averaged 9.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Among his community service activities were organizing a Santa Clara Student-Athlete canned food and clothing drive - which collected more cans than any other WCC school the past two years, volunteering at the Courageous Kids event for the American Cancer Society, and organizing a trip to the Stanford Children's Hospital.
For the fifth consecutive year, the WCC is providing one male and one female student-athlete with a scholarship to assist them in their graduate school or professional school education. Candidates must own a minimum 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate a significant athletic contribution on the varsity athletic level in a WCC sponsored sport, and participate in a WCC sport for a minimum of two years. In addition, candidates must have a record of participating in campus or community activities, completed their athletic eligibility, and competed in intercollegiate athletics in the academic year in which they are nominated.