Carleton College forward Kent Hanson (Sr./St. Paul, Minn./St. Paul Academy) was named a finalist for the Jostens Trophy, which is awarded annually to honor the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Basketball Outstanding Athletes of the Year. The purpose of the award is to honor the well-rounded Division III student-athlete who excels in the classroom, on the playing court, and in the community.
Twenty student-athletes – 10 men and 10 women – remain in the running for this season’s honors from a pool of nominees representing all eight regions of Division III men’s and women’s basketball. This season marks the 23rd presentation of the awards, with the inaugural trophies bestowed in 1998.
This is the fifth time overall and the second time in the last three seasons that a Carleton basketball player made the lists of Jostens Trophy finalists. The others are Renee Willette (2002), Megan Vig (2005 and 2006), and Kevin Grow (2018). A total of 19 MIAC basketball players have been finalists for this award, with nine men (10 total times as finalists) and 10 women (12 total times as finalists) advancing this far.
Earlier this week, Hanson was tabbed to the All-MIAC First Team, becoming the 12th men’s player in school history to earn all-conference recognition three or more times. He averaged career highs of 20.1 points and 8.3 rebounds this season, ranking him second and fourth in the MIAC, respectively. A productive inside-outside threat, he shot .515 on the season, including a conference-best .448 from beyond the arc while leading the MIAC with 64 made 3-pointers.
Hanson is 1 of only 3 NCAA Men’s Basketball players (from Division I, II or III) to average 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists this season while shooting at least 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. He is the lone D-III player on that short list
His 3-point percentage ranks 19th in the nation, making him the lone MIAC player to rank among Division III’s top-150 perimeter shooters, while his overall field-goal percentage placed him fifth among conference players on the national leaderboard.
Additionally, Hanson is 1 of only 6 active NCAA Players (from all three divisions) to amass 1,600 career points while averaging 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game over his career.
Hanson had 13 games this season in which he scored 20 or more points, including four contests with at least 30 points. He wrapped up his career fourth on Carleton’s all-time scoring list with 1,685 career points.
Away from the court, Hanson owns a 3.58 grade-point average as an economics major. In recognition of his work in the classroom, he has previously earned recognition from the NABC Honors Court and been selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, an honor bestowed on less than 1 percent of all NCAA Division III basketball players.
Hanson is a 10-year participant in the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) summer mission trip to Nicaragua, where he works with vulnerable and disadvantaged youth. He has volunteered with Special Olympics and local schools, in addition to his participation with Carleton’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Knights LEAD, and Green Dot bystander intervention programs. Hanson has served on Environmental Carls Organized (ECO), a student group dedicated to promoting environmental awareness on campus.
In his nomination letter for the award, Carleton head coach Guy Kalland wrote, “During my 36-year coaching career, I have not coached a more complete basketball player or high-character individual than Kent… In addition to his basketball prowess, Kent is one of the most accomplished student-athletes at Carleton, which is one of the most rigorous academic institutions in the nation… Kent strives to maximize his potential in every way. He has a vision to live a life of service to others, pure and simple.”
The Rotary Club of Salem is responsible for the initial review of nominations and narrowed the collection of candidates over the past two weeks. The Club’s Jostens Trophy Committee employs a numerical rating system in determining the lists of finalists. The system ensures an objective process thru the first round of vetting. The 20 finalists continue through the review process, with a national selection committee of 30 or more individuals (including college coaches, former athletes, college administrators, and selected media members) charged with determining the two winners—one for men’s basketball, the other for women’s basketball—of the 2020 Jostens Trophy honors.
The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 26 in Salem, Va.