Holland Woman Named Academic All-American

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Carissa Verkaik, 20, a junior at Calvin College and a member of Haven Christian Reformed Church in Zeeland, Mich., was recently named an Academic All-American in women’s basketball. Verkaik is only the second Calvin women’s basketball player who has earned this title.

Carissa Verkaik

Each year, College Sports Information Directors of America selects outstanding scholar-athletes nationwide for its honorary Academic All-American teams. Verkaik was one of 15 women selected for this season’s Division III basketball teams.

“It was a huge surprise,” said Verkaik. “I feel very honored to be named an Academic All-American. When I decided to go to Calvin I didn’t want it to be just for basketball, and to get this honor showed that I made the right decision.” She maintains a 3.67 grade point average.

“What inspires me on and off the court is remembering who my gifts came from and who I live for. The Lord has truly blessed me, and I try to honor and thank him for what he has given me by doing my best,” said Verkaik, whose sister Breanna, a freshman, also plays on Calvin’s team.

Among numerous other awards this year, Verkaik has been named MIAA (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) Most Valuable Player in women’s basketball for a record three seasons. Verkaik averaged 19.2 points and 8.8 rebounds a game this season, and blocked a record 128 shots.

About the Author

Susan Vanden Berg is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Holland, Michigan.