Panthers’ Kalin named MVC Player of the Year

CEDAR FALLS – For the second time in her collegiate basketball career, Jacqui Kalin has been named the Missouri Valley Conference’s Player of the Year.

The sixth-year senior from the University of Northern Iowa received the honor Thursday night. Heading into this afternoon’s 2:30 MVC Tournament game at Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., against Indiana State (18-11, 10-8 MVC), Kalin has a conference-high 19.4 scoring average for Coach Tanya Warren’s Panthers (15-15, 10-8).

A former Sioux City North basketball standout, Kalin was also awarded the player of the year honor in 2011, becoming the fourth player in MVC history to win the award at least twice in their career. It’s the second time Kalin has won both the league’s player of the year and scholar-athlete of the year in the same season, making her the first to accomplish the distinction.

Kalin is UNI’s career leader with 2,002 points and 252 three-point field goals. A five-time MVC Player of the Week winner this season, Kalin also won first-team MVC honors for the third time in her career, matching an accomplishment also won by former Panthers Allison Starr, Amy Swisher and Alex Cook.

“Jacqui defines character,” Warren said. “She is everything we want our program to continue to be. She is what excellence is.”

Kalin is currently defending her thesis in kinesiology and sports psychology while holding a 4.0 grade point average. She won her second CoSIDA academic All-American honor this season, becoming the first UNI player to win first-team honors.