Harrison Blackledge has become the 24th Hope College student-athlete to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The 2017 Hope College graduate and former basketball standout receives a one-time, non-renewable scholarship of $7,500. He currently is attending graduate school at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
"This is just another shining example of the impact Harrison has had on Hope College basketball, which will now expand beyond his time here," head coach Greg Mitchell said. "He has dedicated the time and energy to reach his potential on the court as well as academically. He is the definition of a student-athlete who I know will continue to be a great ambassador of our program."
Blackledge will graduate from Belmont this August with his Master's of Business Administration. He has accepted a job offer from a public relations firm in Manhattan.
"To have all that hard work pay off is super rewarding," Blackledge said. "I'm grateful to all the people who wrote recommendation letters and Dr. (Mark) Pearson for guiding me through the application process. He was a champion for me. It meant a lot to have this many people care about me."
The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually to student-athletes across 1,200 member schools. 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. All former student-athletes who earned an undergraduate degree from an NCAA member school are eligible to be nominated by that school for an NCAA graduate degree scholarship, regardless of when they received their undergraduate degree.
Blackledge graduated from Hope College with a double major of communication and management. He plans to pursue a career in marketing in either the entertainment or athletic fields.
The native of Canton, Ohio led the Flying Dutchmen to an MIAA championship and to the sectional semifinals of the Division III NCAA Tournament during the 2016-17 season. He averaged 20 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. His 601 points are the third most scored in a single season by a Flying Dutchmen player.
Blackledge was the 2017 Jostens Trophy recipient as the most outstanding NCAA Division III men's basketball player of the year. He was named D3hoops.com and National Basketball Coaches Association First Team All-American and Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player.
A four-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, Blackledge received the 2017 Otto van der Velde award as Hope College's top male student-athlete.
During his career, Blackledge scored 1,399 career points — 13th most all-time by a Flying Dutchmen basketball player.