The Louisville Cardinals super sixth-woman, sophomore guard Jude Schimmel, has won the Elite 89 award for the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.
Jude, whose sister is Cardinals point guard Shoni Schimmel, received the award during halftime of the second game of the women's Final Four last night, UConn v. Notre Dame. It was a nice way to remind both of those clubs that the giant-slaying Cardinals had upset Cal earlier in the evening and were waiting for the winner of the game to meet in the national title game Tuesday night. (UConn pulled out the victory, creating a rematch of the 2009 title game.)
The Elite 89 award, founded by the NCAA, honors the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and competing at the championship.
A sociology major, Jude currently carries a 3.737 grade-point average. For the season, Jude is averaging 5.7 points and 2.9 assists per game. She's been a huge part of the Card's surprising run through the NCAA women's tournament.
On the court, Jude will be back in action Tuesday night, April 9, in the national title game versus UConn, airing on ESPN at 8:30 p.m./ET.