Westminster athlete sets example for teammates

Leigh Ann Lutz has been nominated for a spot on the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team for 2014. Only 84 student-athletes in the entire nation were nominated.

It's finals week for many college students which usually means several hours studying in the library.

For student athletes, it's studying on top of their practice commitments.

Number 11 swished shot after shot into the bucket at Tuesday's practice.

Leigh Ann Lutz, a senior on Westminster's basketball team, sets the tone for continued improvement as a whole according to head coach Tracey Braden.

"She models the same behavior that we want in all of our athletes. The discipline that she has on the court and off the court...she's just been a real inspiration to me and to the rest of us. You can definitely tell when she's not in the gym," said Braden.

The shooting guard surpassed 1,000 career points during her junior season and holds a career record 196 3-pointers.

She's not only a leader on the basketball court.

Lutz has carried a 4.0 GPA throughout her college career, and the team was ranked fourth in all of NCAA Division III athletics for highest GPA.

"It's not easy for any of us to have a full time school schedule then be in the gym 3 or 4 hours a day and traveling most weekends but we really have a ton of support from our coach who lets academics come first. From the professors here at Westminster they work super well with us as far as balancing tests or missing class to travel...and then being disciplined. We're an extremely disciplined team so that just really helps when things get really stressful that we know we're there for each other and that we have our priorities in line," said Lutz.

Lutz has been nominated for a spot on the Allstate Women's Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Team, which recognizes student-athletes for their community service efforts. 84 student athletes were nominated for the honor, with 5 spots reserved for Division I athletes and 5 spots collectively for Division II, III, and NAIA athletes. The team will be announced in February.

"It's hard to get caught up in trying to win games and be successful but our coach really emphasizes that it's not all about us. We need to become better people by giving back and just growing ourselves while we're here at college. We do focus a lot on our game but have also worked on serving others and becoming better people during our four years here," said Lutz.

The former California Pinto appreciates the continued support from her hometown.

"I go back to watch them but also support and say hi, and say thanks those people in my community who continually follow me and still show up to Fulton for my games when I was there four years ago," said Lutz.