Angie Bjorklund earns top academic honors

University of Tennessee Lady Vol junior Angie Bjorklund has been named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Women's Basketball First Team. The Spokane Valley, Wash., native boasts a 3.80 GPA in psychology and leads the Lady Vols with a 14.6 points per game average.

Angie Bjorklund joins an elite group of former Lady Vols who have earned their way onto the prestigious five-woman CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team including Candace Parker (2008), Shanna Zolman (2006), Kara Lawson (2003), Tanya Haave (1984) and Jill Rankin (1980).

Parker and Rankin additionally earned distinction as the CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year for women's basketball. Several other Lady Vols have been named as second and third team Academic All-America players: Nicky Anosike (2008-second team), Peggy Evans (1992-third team), Tanya Haave (1983-third team), Lea Henry (1983-third team) and Candace Parker (2007-second team).

To be eligible for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District or All-America honors a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at her current institution and be nominated by her sports information director.

"It is an incredible honor to be selected Academic All-America," Bjorklund said. "Academics are very important to me and Coach Summitt always stresses their importance. We are all student-athletes, with the student portion of our responsibilities coming first. I am extremely happy to be recognized for the hard work that I put into both my academics and my work on the court."

The sharp-shooting Bjorklund has climbed up the Tennessee record books in a pair of three-point shooting categories. This season, she has moved up to third place with 213 career three-pointers and is currently second in the single-season record books with 83 triples made.

"Angie is a leader for our team on and off the floor," Coach Pat Summitt said. "She truly understands the responsibilities and commitments of being a student-athlete. Angie has invested as much in her academics as she has on basketball, and she is one of the best players we've ever had at Tennessee.

"I am incredibly proud of her for being recognized as one of the five best student-athletes in the country and I am very glad that she chose to move from Spokane to Knoxville to be a part of the Lady Vol family."

Bjorklund also became the 34th Lady Vol to surpass 1,000 career points in her tenure at Rocky Top with a three-pointer in the first half at Ole Miss on Feb. 11. Twice this season she has hit game-winning shots for Tennessee.

Bjorklund made a reverse-layup with three seconds left to give UT a 66-64 win at Florida on Jan. 14. Almost exactly one month later, she made a three pointer with three seconds left to claim a Lady Vol victory at Ole Miss.

This marks the second consecutive season Bjorklund has been honored by CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine. Last season as a sophomore, she was named to the All-District IV Second Team.

Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA covering all NCAA championship sports.

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