Maria Viola was selected Tuesday as the California Pacific Conference Female Scholar Athlete of the Year as selected by the conference's executive committee.
Viola, a women's basketball player at William Jessup University with a 3.72 GPA, is a 2008 Nevada Union graduate and a native of Rough and Ready.
"Every year I am inspired by the student-athletes nominated for these top conference awards. They are the not only outstanding athletes but have excelled in the classroom and are making a difference on their campuses and in their communities," Commissioner Don Ott said. "Maria is incredibly deserving and I'm proud to have her as representative of what is best about our conference."
Viola was a second-team all-California Pacific Conference selection for the 2011 season. She finished in the top five in six statistical categories in the Warriors' record books and was also a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete as a junior and a senior.
The bible theology major graduated magna cum laude and earned William Jessup University's Bible Theology department's outstanding graduate award. She served on the student leadership team and was a resident assistant for three years at the university. During the summer, Viola worked at a vacation bible school at Mount St. Mary's School in Grass Valley.
In Viola's senior year, she led the Warriors with 6.35 rebounds per game and averaged 8.9 points per game.
To meet the criteria for receiving a nomination for the prestigious honor, the athlete must have completed her athletic eligibility, accomplish excellence in the classroom, participate in and exhibit the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character, be a significant contributor to her team and be involved in the community and on her campus.
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