Spartanburg, S.C. - USC Upstate center Nick Schneiders has shown tremendous development on the basketball court throughout his time at Upstate. He ranks among the A-Sun leaders in scoring and rebounding while topping the league in blocked shots for a second straight season. But, his play on the court continues to be overshadowed by his tremendous performance in the classroom as the senior has been named to the ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District team.
Schneiders is one of five players selected as a first team Academic All-District selection in District 3, encompassing all Division I schools in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. He was the only student-athlete from an A-Sun school selected on the team this year. Joining Schneiders on the team are Logan Johnson (Coastal Carolina, Big South), Jake Robinson (Western Carolina, Southern), Tanner Smith (Clemson, ACC) and Tyler Zeller (North Carolina, ACC).
"This is a great honor for Nick," said Upstate head coach Eddie Payne. "He has come such a long way in so many different areas since he came here from Germany on pretty much on a leap of faith for a young man who had no experience in basketball. To combine the total transformation in learning the game of basketball and excel as he has academically says a lot about him as a young man."
Schneiders, from Rietberg, Germany, carries a 3.71 GPA as a graphic design major. He recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA in the fall semester, the third time he has turned in a semester without a blemish. He has developed into quite an artistic individual. He was one of 20 student-athletes in all of the NCAA to have artwork on display at the 2009 NCAA Convention in Washington D.C., and was featured on the NCAA Web site. He also has volunteered on several projects for the Upstate Athletics Department, lending his graphic design talents to marketing and media relations projects. He served as an intern in the media relations office last summer and developed the graphic design look on publications and posters for the 2009-10 academic year. He has earned A-Sun All-Academic honors in the A-Sun and was a two-time selection for the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll prior to Upstate's move to Division I and the A-Sun in 2007.
Schneiders earned Academic All-District honors for his academic and athletic ability. On the court, he leads the Spartans and ranks 15th in the A-Sun while averaging 12.1 points per game. He leads the team and ranks sixth in the conference in rebounding at 7.0 rebounds per outing. He tops the conference and ranks in the top 10 in the nation with 3.3 blocks per game.
Schneiders became Upstate's all-time blocked shots leader this season and now has 187 in his career. He also owns the program's single-season blocks record with 79 last year and is just nine shy of that record with eight games to play this season. He has blocked seven shots on three occasions in his career to set the single-game school record as well. He has grabbed 526 rebounds in his four seasons and ranks 12th all-time at Upstate.
Schneiders is the second men's basketball player to earn Academic All-District honors in the last three years. Luke Payne, who graduated in 2008 and is currently playing professional basketball in Australia, was a first team selection Academic All-District selection as a senior in 2008.