Bugarinovic Named 2015 Jostens Trophy Winner
SALEM, VA - Johns Hopkins men's basketball senior George Bugarinovic has been named the 2015 winner of the Jostens Trophy for Division III men's basketball. He is the first player, men's or women's, in school history to win the prestigious award and the first men's player from the Centennial Conference to do so. Swarthmore's Heather Kile won the award in 2002.
The Jostens Trophy is awarded to an outstanding NCAA Division III men's and women's basketball player who excels on the floor, in the classroom and in the community. It is a national award created by the Rotary Club of Salem, VA, to honor the most outstanding men's and women's NCAA Division III basketball players of the year. The award takes into account three vital parts: basketball ability, academic prowess and community service. The trophy models the Rotary International motto of "Service Above Self" by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of the well-rounded NCAA Division III student-athlete. This year's class marks the 18th year the award has been presented.
The awards presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 19 at the Salem Civic Center in conjunction with the NCAA Division III men's basketball semifinals and championship in Salem, VA, on March 20-21. Additional information on the award can be found at http://www.odaconline.com/jostens.
"It's a tremendous honor to win this award," said Bugarinovic. "Looking at the finalists from this year and the past winners, it's just an incredible group of people. It's very humbling and again, a huge honor. I'm very thankful to my teammates and my coaches who made it possible."
Bugarinovic is a four-time All-Centennial Conference selection, including a first team honoree in 2015. He is also a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and a 2015 Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-American. A double major in public health and natural sciences, he boasts a 3.84 cumulative GPA. Bugarinovic ranks in the top-10 in school history in 13 career categories and is the only player in Johns Hopkins history to rank in the top-10 in points (1,331), rebounds (751), steals (124) and blocks (100).
A co-captain of the men's basketball team, Bugarinovic led Johns Hopkins to a 25-5 record and a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16. The Blue Jays won a school-record 17 straight games from December 2 until February 11. Hopkins is currently ranked 15th in the nation and was ranked as high as 10th, a school record, on February 9. The Blue Jays 25 overall wins and 16 Centennial Conference (CC) wins are also school records. Hopkins won the regular season CC title but lost in the title game to Dickinson.
In 2013, Bugarinovic was selected for one of the competitive summer research internships at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, MO. During his internship, he investigated the Tcof1, Polr1c and Polr1d genes and their accompanying proteins on the cellular and genetic basis of Treacher Collins syndrome. Bugarinovic has also completed internships at the University of Kansas Molecular Biology Pathology Department and the Jackson County Health Department. As a freshman, he worked as a lab assistant in the Otolaryngology Lab at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Bugarinovic has participated in numerous community service initiatives during his time at Hopkins and was a nominee for the NABA Allstate Good Works Team earlier this year. Below is a brief description of several of his more prominent community service activities.
AED Mentoring Program: As a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), national pre-health honor society, Bugarinovic mentors two underclassmen through AED's mentoring program. He has also participated in community service trips to the Kennedy Kreiger Institute, an institute dedicated to helping children and adolescents with disorders of the brain.
Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN): Bugarinovic engages in recreational activities with the children and young adults with developmental or physical disabilities. He works on building confidence and improving the social skills of the athletes.
Maryland School for the Blind (MSB): Since 2011, Bugarinovic has volunteered at the Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) and is one of three co-leaders. He organizes and implements weekly arts and crafts for visually impaired students. The MSB is a program that encourages artistic creativity and individual expression for children with varying degrees of blindness and neurodegenerative diseases.
President's Day of Service: For the past four years, Bugarinovic has volunteered with the Johns Hopkins University President's Day of Service. He was the leader of the JHU men's basketball group in 2014 that participated at the Parks and People Foundation by planting trees in Baltimore.
Translator: In addition to his community service work in Baltimore, Bugarinovic has been involved in numerous initiatives in his hometown of Overland Park, KS and nearby Kansas City. He has volunteered as a Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian language translator and interpreter for Optimal Translation and Transportation Services in Kansas City since 2011. He has also volunteered at St. George's Serbian Orthodox Church in Kansas City for the last six years. He volunteers at numerous church events, serves as an academic and athletic guidance counselor for church youth and serves as a translator/interpreter for elderly and non-native English speakers at the church.