Basketball player Jacqui Kalin has left a legacy as one of the most successful student-athletes the University of Northern Iowa has ever had. She is the all-time leader at UNI in scoring, three-point field goals made, free throws made, free throw percentage, assists, games started, games played and minutes. She is the first player in UNI women's basketball history to be named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, which is presented each year to the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports, along with being named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American first team.
Since graduating from UNI in May, Kalin has gone on to play basketball all around the world.
She achieved all this while earning an undergraduate degree in sport psychology and a master's degree in kinesiology and sport psychology, posting a 4.0 GPA each semester. Post-graduation, her strong work ethic and passion for the game have propelled her career even further.
Since graduation in May, Kalin has been honored by the Missouri Valley Conference with two post-graduate scholarships. She was the recipient of the Emerson Excellence Award and the Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award.
In August, Kalin was one of 30 women nominated for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The prestigious award recognizes the athletic achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics, as well as their academic achievements, community service and leadership.
"I felt extremely honored and grateful to be nominated for the award and among such an outstanding group of women," she said. "I also felt lucky and thankful to have the opportunity to represent my university as well as my conference on a national level."
Although Kalin's last game as a Panther was in March, her career didn't end there. In May, she was a member of the NetScouts Basketball All-Star Team, which traveled to China and played against teams from China, Australia and Brazil. Kalin also played at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer as part of the 2012 USA Open Women's Basketball Team.
After the games were over Kalin decided to stay in Israel, where she was signed by the Ramat Hasharon basketball club. "It has been an amazing experience so far," she said. "Basketball, as well as everyday life, is extremely different compared to my time in college, but I'm enjoying the new challenges. I love my teammates and coaches, as well as the city I live in."
Despite her many accolades, when Kalin reflects on her accomplishments at UNI she doesn't think of an award or an event. Instead, she takes pride in the positive impact she was able to have on the university from an athletic, academic and community service standpoint. She also recognizes how her time at UNI has benefited her now that she's out in the real world.
"In general, my experiences at UNI have put me in a position to succeed post-graduation," she said. "Athletically, my experiences have helped give me the opportunity to see the world while playing the game I love. When I am done playing, I know my academic experiences have prepared me to succeed in my field."