Jess Rheinheimer, a senior nursing major at Eastern Mennonite University, has been named NCAA Division III Academic All-American of the Year by the College Sports Information Directors of America. She has a 3.95 GPA and is in the Honors Program. (EMU photos)

Rheinheimer named D-III Academic All-American of the Year and nominated again for Jostens Trophy

Jess Rheinheimer (Manheim, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite), a senior student-athlete at Eastern Mennonite University, was recently named the Academic All-American of the Year by the College Sports Information Directors of America. She was on the five-member First Team as a junior before being named the top scholar in all of Division III women’s basketball this year.

A member of the EMU honors program, Rheinheimer holds a 3.96 GPA in the university’s well-respected nursing program, along with a minor in history.

This is the first time an EMU athlete has been named the Academic All-American of the Year, but the 11th time an EMU student-athlete has been named to an Academic All-America Team, including last year when both Rheinheimer and women’s cross country/track & field runner Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) earned spots.

Rheinheimer has once again been named among 10 finalists for the prestigious Jostens Trophy. One award is given to each a women’s and men’s NCAA Division III basketball player who excels on the floor, in the classroom and in the community.

Rheinheimer was the second-ever junior to win the trophy last year.

The senior was already named the ODAC Player of the Year and ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete, becoming the first woman in conference history to win both awards twice. She was also named South Region Player of the Year by, the official publication of NCAA D-III athletics.

A versatile 5-10 forward, Rheinheimer averaged 19.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this year.  She was among ODAC shooting percentage leaders in all three categories: field goals, three point field goals and free throws.  She scored a season high 35 points in a win over rival Bridgewater on Jan. 5.

Rheinheimer finishes her career as the No. 3 scorer in Eastern Mennonite history, finishing with 1,567 points.  She is also No. 11 all-time in rebounding, with 646 rebounds, and finished just outside of the top 15 in career assists and steals.

She helped the Royals to some of the best seasons in program history, including a run of three straight NCAA National Tournament appearances.

She is a member of the EMU Student Nurses Association. In the local community, she works with the Gemeinschaft Home, a post-incarceration transition home.  She studied in Honduras in the summer of 2013 as part of Eastern Mennonite’s cross cultural program, and has been a volunteer with various organizations in Honduras, Kentucky, New York and her home state of Pennsylvania.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated 3/22/2016.