As the SDSU Men's Jackrabbit team looks to defend their Summit League crown next week, two seniors on the team are excelling off the court.
Jordan Dykstra and Brayden Carlson have both had successful careers wearing the Jackrabbit colors, scoring over 1,000 points each. Both seniors were named to the All-American Academic Team. Carlson, a Brookings native, was named to the first team with a 3.92 GPA, a feat that hasn't happened at SDSU in 42 years.
"There's been a lot of people that have complemented me on it and it makes me feel like it's really important and I think that it's a very valuable award," Senior Brayden Carlson said.
To be named to the All-Academic team, you have to play well on the court. Dykstra made the second team with the 3.71 GPA. The team's leading scorer says to be successful in both basketball and in the classroom, a student needs to find balance.
"Some people that put all their time into basketball, and they're great at basketball. Some kids put all their time into academics and they're great at that, but there's definitely got to be a time where you give up a little bit of both to be good at both. It's tough, but you can make it work if you give it your all," Dykstra said.
Head Coach Scott Nagy has seen a lot of success during his tenure, including back-to-back Summit League titles, but what these two accomplished ranks high on his list.
"For our basketball program, it's one of the great days that we've ever had. I've been coaching here 19 years and I've not had many days that were better than when we heard about those two because that's why we're here. We're here to raise students first and then athletes second," Nagy says.
Both students that have done so much for the University want to finish their careers on a high note, with their third straight Summit League title.
Both Carlson and Dykstra plan on playing basketball after their college careers are over, but both have done a internship in their fields. Carlson is an economics major, and Dykstra is majoring in Biology and Pre-Dentistry.