UPLAND, Ind. – Becca Buchs and Mason Degenkolb were named the winners of Taylor’s annual Natalie Steele and Gates-Howard Awards, which recognize TU’s top senior female and male student-athletes for excellence in competition, academics and leadership. Student-athletes are nominated for the honor and voted on by the Taylor athletics department.
Buchs was named the Natalie Steele Award recipient and completed her degrees in accounting and finance with a grade-point average of 3.80. Buchs was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District, NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Crossroads league performer in the classroom for the Trojans and was one-of-five women’s basketball student-athletes in the NAIA to be named a CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-American this year.
In addition to her excellence in academics, Buchs also played her way to a pair of First-Team All-Crossroads League honors and earned NAIA All-American recognition in each of her final two seasons with the Purple and Gold. The sharpshooter closed her career 12th in TU history with 1,416 points and first in program history with a 45.9-percent clip from beyond the arc.
TU head women’s basketball coach, Jody Martinez, said, “Becca has come a long way since her freshmen year. During these past three years, I have seen a very motivated young lady on and off the court. She had grown in her spiritual journey. This past season, she led a small group Bible study, was a team captain and completed a double major in accounting and finance in addition to logging over 130 hours of community service with her teammates.”