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D.J. Newbill Named Finalist For Senior CLASS Award

On and off of the court, senior guard D.J. Newbill has shown to be a real class act at Penn State. Newbill is getting national recognition for his character as he was named a finalist for the 2014-15 Men’s Basketball Senior CLASS Award.

Back in October, 30 men’s and women’s candidates were selected for the award. Only 10 from each category were selected as finalists.

The Senior CLASS Award is given to NCAA Division I senior student-athletes, in their respective collegiate sport, who have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character, and competition.

Here is how D.J. Newbill is exceptional in each category:


Community D.J. Newbill CLASS Award

As well as being an exceptional player for the Nittany Lions, Newbill has also been a great member of the State College community and the state of Pennsylvania over the past three years. Newbill has has been a part of many team events and fundraisers over the years. He served as a volunteer at the Special Olympics Pennsylvania State Summer Games, while also being a part of the Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Kids Day.

Newbill and his teammates travel every year to the Hershey Cancer Institute to visit with adult and pediatric patients, and host a clinic for pediatric cancer patients each year. At the clinic, Newbill allows the kids to feel like they’re a Nittany Lion basketball player for a day by inviting them to the locker room and gym.

Newbill is also heavily involved in THON while also being involved in mini-THONs at local-area middle schools.


D.J. Newbill has been described as one of the most committed students on the Penn State roster and will be graduate this spring with a degree in communication arts and sciences. Since transferring to Penn State in his freshman season, Newbill’s GPA has “skyrocketed” because of the opportunities he takes from Penn State resources. During his redshirt season, Newbill increased his course load which ultimately led to his academic success.


Newbill Character

Over Newbill’s career, he has shown an exceptional amount of character. Newbill has gone through a lot of things and has had to overcome many obstacles to get to where he is today. After Marquette recruited him and then didn’t offer him a scholarship, along with losing his mother to cancer in 2012, Newbill has had a lot of hardships. Those hardships are what have driven him to become the man he is today. The All-Big Ten guard has used it all as fuel to become a two-time team captain for Penn State.


Photo: Bobby Chen/Onward STate
Photo: Bobby Chen/Onward State

There is no question that D.J. Newbill is a gifted basketball player. Newbill has led the Big Ten in scoring and is still the top-scoring player among the Power Five conferences. He is fourth on Penn State’s all-time scoring leaders list and including the points he scored at Southern Miss., Newbill is on pace to eclipse the 2000-point mark for his college career. If Newbill were able to pass 2000 points, he would be the only Big Ten player in league history to do so. Newbill has also been one of the only bright spots on the team during this up-and-down Penn State basketball season.

Newbill is one of two Big Ten players named as finalists for the award — along with Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky — and he needs the support of the Penn State community to help him win this award.   

Newbill is not someone who should just be recognized for being a great basketball player, but for also being a great person. You can help Newbill win the 2014-15 Men’s Baskeball Senior CLASS Award by voting for him here. Fan balloting counts for one-third of the total, so Newbill needs your help, Penn State!

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About the Author

Jacob Abrams

Jacob Abrams is a sophomore from Oxford, PA, majoring in Management in the Smeal College of Business. Jacob is the President/GM of The LION 90.7 FM along with being a play-by-play commentator and sports talk show host. He is a sports fanatic, and strongly supports the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, and the New Orleans Saints. He is a first-generation Penn Stater, and in his free time he likes to play sports and sing. You can follow him on Twitter @jake_abrams and contact him at [email protected]

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