Denison’s Baker, Wang Awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships

by SwimSwam 0

May 19th, 2020 College

Courtesy: Big Red Athletics

GRANVILLE, Ohio—Denison University swimming & diving All-Americans James Baker and Bebe Wang were awarded prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships last week.

Twenty-one scholarships with a value of $10,000 were awarded to male winter sports athletes spanning all levels of the NCAA.  This runs Denison’s total of NCAA Postgraduates to 53, ranking them third among all Division III institutions.  Of Denison’s 53 recipients, 28 have come from the swimming & diving program.

Denison head coach Gregg Parini is proud of what Baker and Wang have added to the legacy of Denison swimming.

“Jimmy embodies the very best of what a Denison student-athlete should be – a serious student who is committed to making the best of his talents to improve himself, his team, and his community. His tangible contributions to Denison and our swimming team are only surpassed by the fine example of hard work, integrity, and honest he lived into every day,” said Parini.

Parini continued.

“Bebe leaves Denison as one of our most celebrated and accomplished scholar-athletes in school history. His exemplary and long-standing successes in the classroom, the laboratory, and the pool reflect his superior work ethic, vivid imagination, and an unrelenting commitment to personal growth and excellence.”

A native of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., Baker is a six-time All-American and a three-time national qualifier for the top-ranked Denison men’s swimming & diving team.  A distance freestyler, Baker placed seventh in the 1,650 freestyle and ninth in the 500 free at the 2019 NCAA Division III Championship. This year, Baker was seeded sixth in the mile and 10th in the 500 free before the 2020 Championships were canceled due to COVID-19.  As a sophomore in 2018, Baker placed third in the 1,650 free and was 14th in the 500 free in his first trip to nationals.  He is a two-time North Coast Athletic Conference champion and a two-time NCAC runner-up.  Baker majored in health, exercise, and sport studies. Earlier this month, he was one of seven recipients of the Denison President’s medal.

A native of Naperville, Illinois, Wang is a five-time national champion and 15-time All-American from the top-ranked men’s swimming & diving team. He captured national championships in the 200 IM and the 400 and 800 free relays in 2019.  As a sophomore, Wang captured national championships in the 800 free relay and the 200 backstroke.  In 2019 he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America first-team and was selected as the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year.  This year, Wang boasted Division III’s top time in the 200 IM and was third in the 200 freestyle. In April, he received the North Coast Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete Award. A three-time College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American, he graduated over the weekend with a Bachelor of Arts in physics.

Baker and Wang join Ben Cross (football) running Denison’s total of NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients to three in the 2019-20 academic year.

Created in 1964, The NCAA awards up to 126 postgraduate scholarships annually. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. The one-time non-renewable scholarships of $10,000 are awarded three times a year corresponding to each sport season (fall, winter, and spring).  Each sports season there are 21 scholarships available for men and 21 scholarships available for women for use in an accredited graduate program.

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