Indianapolis -- Youngstown State women's basketball player Liz Hornberger has been granted the inaugural Horizon League Post-Graduate Scholarship Award for her exemplary career both on and off the court, the conference office announced on Thursday.
In its first year of inception, the Horizon League will annually provide a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship apiece to a male and a female student-athlete from a Horizon League member institution to be used for graduate school expenses following completion of their undergraduate program.
The male recipient of the award was Oakland soccer player Miche'le Lipari. The award was voted upon by the League's Faculty Athletics Representatives.
"What an honor it is to recognize Liz and Miche'le as the Horizon League Post-Graduate Scholarship Award winners," said Commissioner Jon LeCrone. "These exemplary student-athletes embody the collegiate model, a foundation of the Horizon League. We wish them the best as they pursue their graduate degrees."
Hornberger, a native of Reading, Pa., holds a 3.97 grade point average at Youngstown State while majoring in criminal justice. She will attend Case Western Reserve University to follow her passion for human rights law while pursuing a Juris Doctor.
"I wish I could express my appreciation better than a simple 'thank you'," said Hornberger. "I am so thankful not only for this scholarship, but also for the wonderful opportunities the Horizon League has given me these past four years. This award is being given to me, but my achievements are the direct results of constant support from Youngstown State University and the wonderful professors, coaches, teammates, and support staff on campus."
"This award is such a great honor and will allow me to pursue my passion outside of athletics, which is human rights law," continued Hornberger. "I plan on pursuing my Juris Doctor at Case Western Reserve University. Everything that YSU and the Horizon League has taught me will positively affect my experiences at CWRU, and, although I am leaving YSU, I will always be a Penguin at heart."
"I will miss participating in Horizon League events very much, and hope that I contributed to the League's success as much as it contributed to my own. Thank you for absolutely everything."
Hornberger finished her career as YSU's all-time career leader in both 3-pointers made (199) and attempted (583). She was a starter each of the past two seasons as the Penguins advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament in back-to-back years. Hornberger averaged career highs with 10 points, 3.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds as a senior captain. She was named the team's Coach DiGregorio MVP and went on to earn Academic All-Horizon League honors.
"We are extremely proud of Liz for her work in the classroom and leading the women's basketball program these last four years," said head coach John Barnes. "She is a model student-athlete in every sense of the word. We want to congratulate her on the great honor of earning the Horizon League Post-Graduate Scholarship.
To be eligible for the scholarship, student-athletes must meet criteria in four distinct categories - academics, athletics, service and leadership. The recipient must have an overall minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent, have competed with distinction as a member of a varsity sport, exhibited quality time working in the community/university in providing service to others, and demonstrated leadership qualities as a student at their institution and as a member of their intercollegiate program.