Hope College basketball player Ben Gardner is one of 10 men’s finalists for the 2016 Jostens Trophy, the Salem, Virginia Rotary Club has announced.

The Jostens Trophy is awarded to an outstanding NCAA Division III men’s and women’s basketball player who excels on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.   

The winner will be announced on March 17

Gardner is a senior guard from Carmel, Indiana (Carmel HS). He is an All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association First Team honoree who helped the Flying Dutch claim a regular season MIAA championship and earn an at-large berth to the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship. 

Last month, Gardner was named one of 10 honorees fro the National Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Teams. He is invited by Allstate to be recognized at the 2016 NABC Convention and 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four®. They will participate in a community service project to benefit the host city of Houston. 

Gardner co-founded the Jesse G. Clothing line with a childhood friend that is sending a portion of its proceeds toward helping youth in Ethiopia. 

Gardner is a three-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. He is majoring in public accounting. 

On the court, Gardner is averaging a team-best 15.2 points, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game this season for the 23-3 Flying Dutchmen. He became the team’s 37th player to reach 1,000 career points earlier this season. 

The 2015-16 season marks the 19th presentation of the Jostens Trophy awards, with the inaugural trophies bestowed in 1998. 

The Salem Rotary Club's Jostens Trophy Committee employs a numerical rating to narrow the list of finalists so that the decision can be made on the most objective basis possible.  The 20 finalists continue thru the review process, with a national selection committee  of 32 individuals charged with determining the two winners of the 2016 Jostens Trophy honors. 

Men's finalists

Women's finalists

Trey Bardsley, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Eireann Anastasi, Delaware Valley University

DJ Beckman, Alma College

Cassidy Burkholder, Bridgewater College (Va.)

Dillon Bender, Mount Aloysius College

Malory Christenson, Carroll University

Jordan Bolger, Concordia-Moorhead College

Holly Denfeld, Milwaukee School of Engineering

Tim Daniel, Greenville College

Kathryn Erbelding, Grove City College

Ben Gardner, Hope College

Lexi Fisher, Buena Vista University

Lucas Hausman, Bowdoin College

KC McConnell, Whitworth University

Jared Holmquist, Trine University

Katie McDaniels, Wheaton College (Ill.)

Jamie Nikitas, Lawrence University

Jess Rheinheimer, Eastern Mennonite University

George Valle, Whitworth University

Katelyn Smith, Transylvania University