Lake Forest College women’s basketball player Hannah O’Day received the Midwest Conference Elite 20 Award for the first time during her career at the MWC Tournament on February 22, 2019.
O’Day, a senior forward, earned the honor by holding the highest cumulative grade point average of any player at the four-team tournament. She holds a 3.96 GPA with a challenging major in business and minor in entrepreneurship.
When asked how she handles the tough task of balancing both athletics and academics, O’Day noted, “What’s really helped me is having an understanding coach who puts academics and career-related activities first. She (Coach Tam Tills) is very accommodating because she wants us to succeed in the classroom.”
O’Day goes on to say, “it’s important to set priorities for yourself and set goals so that you can stay on track with what you want to achieve. I also prioritize communication so anytime anything comes up I can immediately let my professors and coaches know so that we are all on the same page.”
In addition to her success in the classroom, O’Day has been an integral part of the Foresters’ success on the court. This past season, O’Day helped lead her team to a league mark of 12-6 and a second trip to the four-team MWC Tournament. She ranked fifth in scoring and fourth in rebounds per game on the team.
In each of its 20 sports, the MWC recognizes the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average participating in the league's championship or tournament event. The award recognizes the commitment of the student-athlete toward the pursuit of excellence in both the athletic and academic realms, as measured by reaching the pinnacle of competition within the league, while also achieving the highest academic standard among peers.
As she looks back on her career O’Day will miss “spending every single day with my sixteen favorite ladies. I’ll miss going to practice every day, celebrating wins together, the long bus rides, and our fun hotel stays. I loved the chemistry our team shared.”
O’Day is the first student-athlete at the College to earn the honor this academic year.
“I attribute this award to my coaches, professors, advisors, friends and family. It was not a single person’s effort, but rather a community and for that I am grateful.”