The Evangel University women’s basketball player Kara Blankenship has been honored by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics with the 2010 Emil S. Liston Award. The award recognizes one male player and one female returning basketball player nationally for outstanding playing ability, excellence in character and academics. The NAIA Council of Faculty Representatives determined the recipients.
“I am pleased to welcome (men’s winner) Ian Logan (from Corban College) and Kara Blankenship to the distinguished group of Email S. Liston Award honorees,” said Jim Carr, NAIA president and CEO. “Their ability to balance a full academic and athletic load with tremendous success is impressive.”
Kara Blankenship completed her sophomore season in 2009-10 and was a second team All-Heart of America conference selection. She led Evangel in scoring averaging 15.1 points per game and in rebounding grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game. The Republic, Missouri native helped Evangel to their second straight NAIA National Tournament appearance and played a key role as a freshman in the Lady Crusaders’ 2008-09 conference championship.
In addition to her success on the court, Blankenship carries a 4.0 grade point average and is a junior academically in just two years of college. She was named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete last season. The Social Work major is a volunteer at Weller Elementary School in Springfield, Habitat for Humanity and she works to develop youth basketball players in the area.
Blankenship is the first Evangel basketball player, male or female, to receive the Emil S. Liston Award. The honor, handed out by the NAIA each year since 1950, is named for one of the for the former Baker University coach who helped found the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball, the forerunner to the NAIA. Liston served was the first executive director of the NAIA. With the award, Evangel University will receive a $1,000 scholarship in the name of the winner from NAIA sponsor DakTronics.
For additional information, contact: Ed Beach, Evangel University Athletics, (417) 865-2815, ext. 7417