Mat Mikesell

Former Ball State middle blocker Anders Nelson has been awarded the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, the NCAA office announced.

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education. The scholarship is awarded to the NCAA's most accomplished student-athletes.

The student-athletes are evaluated on campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities, demonstrated leadership and athletic and academic achievements.

"I was honored when I found out I received the scholarship," Nelson said. "It's very gratifying to be recognized for my achievements both on the court and in the classroom. I couldn't have done it without outstanding professors, supportive teammates and my coaches who put me in positions to succeed."

The NCAA awards 174 postgraduate scholarships every year, 87 for men and 87 for women. Each sports season has 29 scholarships for men and 29 for women. Each scholarship is worth $7,500.

Nelson played for the Cardinals from 2009-11 after transferring from the University of Minnesota.

This past season, he was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Second Team and the First Team All-Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. He finished the season ranked second in the MIVA rankings and fourth in the nation with 1.30 blocks per game.

He ranked first in the NCAA with 35 solo blocks. He also posted 109 block assists on the year. Ball State was ranked first in the nation with an average of 3.07 blocks per game.

"This award is special because it recognizes [Nelson's] personal and academic accomplishments, along with his athletic accolades," coach Joel Walton said in a press release. "It is further proof Anders represents what a student-athlete should be in college. I am very proud to have had Anders as a member of our program for the past three years. This is a well-deserved accomplishment he has worked hard to achieve."

Nelson graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ball state this past spring with a grade-point average of 3.915. He graduated as a double major in accounting and finance.

He was a three-time Academic All-MIVA selection and was named to the 2009-10 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 5 Men's At-Large First Team.

After Ball State, Nelson is currently a volunteer assistant for the women's volleyball team at Kentucky under coach Craig Skinner. He also plans to pursue an MBA next fall.