Buchs and Degenkolb Receive Top Honors from Taylor Athletics
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.”
Degenkolb was named TU’s Gates-Howard Award recipient after posting a cumulative grade-point average of 3.81 in accounting. Degenkolb was named as a CoSIDA Academic All-District standout in each of his three years of eligibility for the prestigious honor and also collected a pair of NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Crossroads League nods, before earning CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-America honors this year.
The accolades were equally impressive on the hardwood for the guard, as Degenkolb finished as a three-time All-Crossroads League performer, earned one NAIA All-American honor and recently won the NAIA Play of the Year contest. Degenkolb closed his career fifth in Taylor history with 1,940 points, while also ranking among the program’s best with 398 made free throws and an 85.6-percent career rate from the charity stripe.
Degenkolb’s head coach, Josh Andrews, stated, “Our program recognizes the magnitude of this honor and Mason is a worthy representative of Taylor Athletics. In his four years, Mason grew as a man of Christ, as a teammate and as a player. He gave everything he had and never backed down from a challenge. His competitive fire and exemplary work ethic have left an indelible mark on the program. We are grateful for his investment into the program and proud of this prestigious and deserving accolade.”