Valparaiso University men’s basketball senior Vashil Fernandez (Kingston, Jamaica/Princeton Day [Md.] Academy) has been named the Horizon League’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the winter Season for his performance both on the court and in the classroom.
Fernandez became the first Crusader men’s basketball player to lead the nation in an individual statistical category this season, pacing the nation with 3.31 blocked shots/game. His 119 total blocks set new program and Horizon League single-season marks, while he also shattered Valpo’s career blocks record – closing his career with 289 rejections. Named National Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com, Fernandez also grabbed 7.3 rebounds/game and anchored a Valpo defense which ranked among the top-10 nationally as the Crusaders won 30 games, captured the Horizon League regular season title and advanced to the title game of the NIT.
In the classroom, Fernandez has been perhaps even more impressive, carrying a 3.957 cumulative GPA as he will graduate with his second master’s degree later this month, earning it in international economics and finance. Fernandez already owns a bachelor’s degree from Valpo in international business and received his first master’s degree in international commerce and policy last May.
Fernandez becomes the second Valparaiso University student-athlete to earn league Scholar-Athlete of the Season honors this year, as women’s soccer senior Rita Craven picked up the same accolade for the fall season.