CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—UMBC junior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) was named the America East Scholar-Athlete for women's basketball, the conference announced Thursday. The award recognizes Kurowski's excellence both on the court and in the classroom.
It is Kurowski's fourth academic recognition of the season, as she was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team and the America East All-Academic Team in the winter, and she was tabbed to the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete Team last week.
Kurowski maintains a 3.82 grade-point average as a psychology major with a minor in social welfare. The junior plans to earn her bachelor's degree in May after just three years and complete her eligibility next season as a graduate student pursuing a teaching certificate and a master's degree in early childhood education.
An America East All-Conference First Team selection, Kurowski ranked second in the league in scoring with 14.6 points per game, and she ranked sixth in the NCAA with an .894 free throw percentage, a school record and the third-best ever in the America East. In addition, she led UMBC with 1.9 steals per game while also averaging 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest and shooting 40.2 percent from the floor, and she drained a career-high 43 three-pointers.
Kurowski ranks seventh all-time at UMBC with 1,263 career points, and in January, she became the third-fastest Retriever ever to reach the 1,000-point plateau when she achieved the milestone in her 74th career game. She has averaged 13.7 points per game in her career, the third-best scoring average in school history, and she has ranked in the top 10 in the America East in each of her three seasons. In addition, Kurowski's .848 career free throw percentage ranks second all-time at UMBC, and she is one of just nine Retrievers ever to sink 100 three-pointers in her career.
UMBC has been awarded 14 Scholar-Athlete honors in eight years in the America East, but Kurowski is the Retrievers' first in the sport of women's basketball.
A committee of athletic administrators and NCAA faculty athletics representatives chose an honoree in each of the league's six winter championship sports who carried a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20. In addition to Kurowski, Vermont's Evan Fjeld (men's basketball), Binghamton's Joe Perez-Rogers and Amanda Ciccone (men's and women's swimming and diving, Albany's Peter Rowell (men's indoor track and field) and New Hampshire's Rita Ciambra (women's indoor track and field) were also honored.
America East recognizes a Scholar-Athlete in each of its 20 championship sports. From those 20 sport Scholar-Athletes, a committee chooses an annual Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.