Junior Carmen Grande dribbles the ball down the court towards the goal to gain another point for the Cardinals during the Ball State vs. Eastern Michigan women’s basketball game on February 7 in Worthen Arena. Carlee Ellison, DN
Carmen Grande adds to accomplished season with First Team Academic All-America Selection
Ball State women's basketball's Carmen Grande added to her long list of accomplishments Monday.
While typically recognized for her performances on the court, Grande was named to the 2017-18 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America First Team. The Madrid, Spain, native became the first player from the program to receive the honor since Kate Endress, the only other player to do so, earned it in 2004-05.
The junior guard holds a 3.98 cumulative GPA as a mathematical science major.
Grande's mind for academics is balanced by a mind for basketball. On the court, she sits second in the nation in assists per game at 9.2, trailing only Tiana Mangakahia of Syracuse (9.9). Grande's consistency as a floor general led to her becoming the program's all-time leader in assists in just three years.
“When you’re with somebody every day, you don’t fully appreciate how good they are,” head coach Brady Sallee said in a February interview. “Some kids have it and some kids don’t. Clearly we found one that does.”
Grande currently averages 11.5 points per game to go along with her solid passing numbers. The guard's savviness on the court allowed her to make SportsCenter's Top 10 plays after inbounding a pass off the back of a defender on the baseline for an easy layup. With the help of Grande, Ball State surpassed the 20-win mark for the third straight season as the team currently sits at 24-6.
Ball State now awaits a bid to the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) as the team enters postseason play.