Kurt Gruppen Receives Top Honors
Capping his stellar basketball career, Kurt Gruppen ’09 of Zeeland, Michigan, receives high post-season honors. The National Christian College Athletic Association named Gruppen the Pete Maravich Award recipient for men’s basketball. This player of the year honor is given to an outstanding basketball player that has excelled in the sport, possesses a vital Christian testimony both on and off the court, exhibits leadership qualities, and is in good academic standing. The Maravich Award, sponsored by the Gary Beck Foundation, was presented to Gruppen at the NCCAA national tournament tip-off banquet on March 18 in Oakland City, Indiana.
“I believe that Kurt Gruppen is one of the great success stories of small college basketball and a tremendous example of maximizing all that God has given to him,” said Coach Tim Walker. “As a team we had the most successful two years in Trinity’s history and I believe that Kurt is responsible for much of that success. Through all of the success, he has always maintained a humble spirit and a heart for God.”
In addition to the NCCAA honor, Gruppen was also named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American Third Team list for men’s Division II basketball. He was one of ten players named to that list, placing him in among the top 30 players in the nation. He is only the second Trinity player to have ever achieved this honor.
During the 2008-09 season, Gruppen, who was also named the conference Player of the Year, led the team in scoring with a 20.5 point average. He also was the team’s top shooter at .545 percent from the field, including .502 from the three-point arc. For the season he scored a total of 637 with nearly half of them coming from beyond the arc. In the nation he ranked third in three-point percentage and ninth in three-point average (3.3 made per game). He also was in the top 20 in point average.
Gruppen, a team captain, helped his team to a 23-9 overall finish, recording the program’s second 20+ win season in a row. The Trolls also claimed their first-ever first-place conference finish, a CCAC tournament title, and a NAIA National Tournament appearance.
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