IUP junior Joe Rocco has been selected for the NCAA Elite 88 Academic Award for Division II men’s basketball.
The Elite 88 Award is presented to one student at each of the eighty-eight national championships sponsored by the NCAA. The recipient must be at least a sophomore academically and athletically and is chosen based on his or her undergraduate cumulative grade-point average.
“A nationally competitive award of this kind brings great recognition to IUP and its commitment to academic excellence and student success,” Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president, said. “This honor bestowed upon Mr. Rocco also demonstrates IUP’s continued success in producing scholar-athletes of the highest merit.”
Rocco, of Northern Cambria, was recognized at a banquet March 22, 2010, before the start of the Elite Eight tournament. IUP began play in the tournament Wednesday, March 24, in Springfield, Mass.
Rocco has a 3.949 grade-point average through his first five semesters at IUP. He is a Biology major who plans on attending medical school following his graduation in May 2011.
On the basketball floor, Rocco has played in seventeen games, with two starts this season, and has seen action in sixty-three games over the past three years, with nine career starts. He has scored seventy points, including a career-high eleven in his college debut against Penn State Fayette as a freshman in 2007–2008.
Rocco also saw action in the NCAA Atlantic Region tournament, where his contributions included three offensive rebounds, an assist, and a steal in the semifinal win over West Virginia State.