Basketball teams’ average GPA on the rise

Edgar Ayala and Jared Klim – Special to the Southern News 

As one of the most recent rising sports program at Southern Connecticut, the men’s and women’s basketball team numbers are improving not only on the court, but inside the classroom as well.

Team grade point averages over the past four years show a steady increase in both the men’s and women’s players.

Women’s basketball in the 2011-12 school year had an overall team GPA of 2.69.  A 2.84 in 2012-13, followed by a 3.02 last year and as of today hold a 3.33.

Even though not as stunning as the women, men still have been equally impressive over the last four years too. Going from a 2.56 GPA in 2011-12, to currently holding a

3.01 GPA this year, just shows the amount of improvement these student-athletes have made inside the classroom.

Michael Mallory, a sophomore and one of the 13 players on the men’s roster said he always strives for at least a 3.0 GPA each semester.  He also added that the 3.01 GPA for the current term is sufficient.

“I think the GPA is at a good place, especially compared to the other sports teams,” he said.  “It can definitely improve, but I have no problem with it.  I know everyone works hard for their grades, so I have no problem with where it is right now.”

Mallory, a communications major, received a full scholarship coming to Southern as he is one of the 12 student-athletes who received any amount of athletic aid for men’s basketball.  He also recently netted his 1,000th career point for Southern back in February and said he looks to aim for the all-time record of 1,936 points set by Rich Radicioni in 1990.

“I knew I was getting close [to my 1,000th point] and I knew what game I was going to get it,” Mallory said. “I was just really happy because I was able to reach one of my main goals for the season.”

Since the arrival of men’s head coach Mike Donnelly in 2010, things have turned around for Southern basketball. Going from a 2009-2010 record of 2-25 by then former coach Marc Rybczyk, Donnelly since has taken over and has had a winning record of  95-48 over his past five years in tenure.

Coach Bert DeSalvo on the other hand, is still trying to find the chemistry between the women’s basketball as former coach, Meghan Brown wasn’t successful, posting a record of 75-90 from 2008 to 2013.

DeSalvo’s first full year in charge managed to put up a 14-15 record, but what really surprised him was the success of his players off the court.  The 3.33 GPA for the current term was “outstanding” news, he said.

And according to Matthew Letkowski, Southern’s interim director of compliance, the increase in amount of scholarship athletes seem to be rising for women’s basketball.   11 out of the 15 registered players on the team are receiving athletic scholarship money, compared to four years ago when only seven players were receiving athletic aid.

The numbers are rising and so are the players.  The basketball program at Southern are turning things around to not only improve the team’s competitiveness, but from an academic standpoint as well.

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas


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