The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced that Luther College soccer player James Garcia-Prats has been awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The NCAA awarded one-time, nonrenewable educational grants of $7,500 to 58 student-athletes—29 men and 29 women who competed in fall sports.
To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must be nominated by his or her athletic department, have an overall grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent, and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete must have behaved, both on and off the field, in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution, and intercollegiate athletics. The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student. The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women.
Garcia-Prats, a sociology major, will graduate in May and has a grade point average of 3.65.
"James has exceptional service, academic and athletic credentials,” said Rob Larson, Luther College Faculty Athletic Representative. “He has been a great example of a student who has excelled at balancing his efforts in the classroom and on the athletic field.”
During his four years in a Norse uniform, Garcia-Prats helped lead Luther to two Iowa Conference championships, and two appearances in the NCAA III National Tournament. He was a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American, three-time NSCAA All-Region and three-time first team all-Iowa Conference honoree. He made 79 appearances, which included 68 starts, and tallied 13 goals and 22 assists for a total of 48 points.
Garcia-Prats also excelled in the classroom. He was a three-time Iowa Conference Fall Sports Academic honoree (3.50 GPA or higher on the 4.0 scale), a 2013 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Capital One Division III Academic All-American and a 2013 NSCAA Scholar All-American.
“Since his arrival four years ago, James has helped the men’s soccer program to achieve its vision of being one of the premier soccer programs in the country,” said head coach Chris Garcia-Prats, who is James’ brother. “He committed to leaving our program in a better place than when he arrived, and that is exactly what he has done. He is a humble and caring leader on and off the field. He will go down as the most accomplished individual player in our program's history, but what James will be most proud of is helping his teammates to two Iowa Conference Championships, two NSCAA Top 25 National Rankings and two NCAA III National Tournament appearances.”
Luther has a long tradition of student-athletes receiving NCAA postgraduate scholarships. Garcia-Prats is the 38th student-athlete and the 13th student-athlete in the past eight years at Luther to receive this award.
Garcia-Prats, a 2010 graduate of Strake Jesuit High School in Houston, Texas, is the son of Joe and Cathy Garcia-Prats of Houston, Texas.