The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced that Luther College basketball player Tyler Wedemeier has been awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The NCAA awarded one-time, non-renewable educational grants of $7,500 to 58 student-athletes—29 men and 29 women who competed in winter 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.
Wedemeier, an elementary education major with a middle school endorsement, graduated with a 3.48 grade point average. He is currently employed as a sixth grade science teacher at Forest City (Iowa) Middle School.
“Tyler’s impact while at Luther extended well beyond the basketball arena,” stated Rob Larson, Luther College faculty athletic representative. “He was an exceptional student, a leader on campus and involved with the youth of the Decorah community. The NCAA postgraduate scholarship recognizes excellence in academics and services as well as in athletics. Tyler had an exemplary record in each of these areas.”
During his four years in a Norse uniform, he helped lead Luther to two Iowa Conference championships, as well as an appearance in the 2011 NCAA Division III National Tournament. He was a three-time all-Iowa Conference selection that included being named the league’s 2011 Defensive Player of the Year and the league’s Most Valuable Player as a senior. His senior year he was also named D3hoops.com all-Central Region and was selected to the NABC Reese's Division III College All-Star Game, the first player from the Iowa Conference to be so honored.
Statistically, he scored 1,161 points, grabbed 769 rebounds and had 247 blocked shots. He is one of six players in Luther history to score over 1,000 points and collect over 700 rebounds. His 247 blocked shots is a school record. He also holds the school record for career field goal shooting percentage of 57.3 percent (439-766).
“This caps off a tremendous career for Tyler,” said Head Coach Mark Franzen. “He was a talented student-athlete that worked extremely hard here at Luther. The coaches and players in our program are proud of his accomplishments.”
Tyler spent considerable time in the Decorah school district volunteering his time in the classroom assisting teachers and students. Tyler was also a very active member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and served as the organizations President has senior year. He was involved as a participant and organizer of events involving community kids (particularly high needs and at risk kids). He negotiated policies on campus that affected both student-athletes and the general student population that included such things as facility access and services offered by dining services.
Luther has a long tradition of student-athletes receiving NCAA postgraduate scholarships. Wedemeier is the 37th student-athlete and the 12th student-athlete in the past seven years to receive this award.
Wedemeier, a 2009 graduate of West Central High School, is the son of Kevin and Kenda Wedemeier of Westgate, Iowa.