Blessing Named Capital One Academic All-District

February 5, 2015 at 10:34 pm

USC UpstateUSC Upstate senior guard Mario Blessing was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Men’s Basketball Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced on Thursday.

The Capital One Academic All-District award recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. The Academic All-District teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada.

To be eligible for Academic All-District honors, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00 and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution.

A native of Kusterdingen, Germany, Blessing boasts a 3.80 grade point average in economics and is a three-time member of the Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized for my academic achievements,” Blessing said. “As important as basketball is to me, it’s just as important that I succeed in the classroom, so I would like to thank everyone who voted for me for this award.”

The only Spartan to start all 24 games this season, Blessing has proven to be one of the most efficient point guards in the NCAA this season, as he stands first in the Atlantic Sun and 21st in the NCAA with a 2.9 assist/turnover ratio. Blessing has dished out 73 assists to go along with just 25 turnovers thus far this season. Blessing also ranks 11th in the conference in assists (3.0 apg) and 16th in steals (1.0 spg).

In addition to his individual accolades, Blessing has played an instrumental role in helping Upstate put together one of the best seasons in school history. The Spartans have already beaten schools from the ACC and the SEC for the second straight year, and Upstate is just five wins shy of setting a new single-season school record for wins during the Division I era.

Blessing is also the winningest player at USC Upstate during the Division I era, as the point guard has been a part of 73 wins during his career in Spartanburg.