PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Senior Gabi Haack is one of the most accomplished scorers in Bradley women’s basketball history.
But she scores points with more than just a basketball.
The Elementary Education major from Elk River, Minnesota has a 3.8 grade point average and is one of only 30 women’s basketball finalists nationally for the Senor CLASS Award, which recognizes college athletes who excel in competition, the classroom and community service.
“It does encompass everything — basketball, school and community, which are three really important things to me,” Haack said. “I know being a student-athlete comes before athlete. I don’t get to be an athlete if I don’t have my school work taken care of.”
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award “focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.” Haack is just the fifth player in Bradley women’s basketball program history to earn a nomination as a top 30 finalist.
Haack volunteers her time with the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and has volunteered at the Harrison Community Learning Center in Peoria. She’s spending 100 hours in a classroom with second graders this year.
“It’s something I’ve grown up knowing I need to be someone who puts priority in community service and the classroom before I can be an athlete,” Haack said.
Haack scored her 1,500th-career point this past week and broke into the top 10 on the Missouri Valley Conference career made three-pointers list. She is now tied for eighth in league history with 262 career triples.
Haack has plans to teach once her playing career is over but she hopes she can play professionally after graduating from Bradley.
“She is exactly what a student-athlete should be at the collegiate level,” Bradley head coach Andrea Gorski said. “She takes care of her academics first. it’s always first for Gabi and it should be. A great role model off the court, in the community. She always represents our team the best way possible. We are very proud of her.”