Grundahl Receives ’24 Jostens Trophy – Top Award for Division III Women’s Basketball

Salem, Va. – University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior forward Aleah Grundahl has been selected as the 2024 recipient of the Jostens Trophy – awarded to the top player in Division III. 

The Jostens Trophy
This marks the 26th edition of the Jostens Trophy, presented annually by the Rotary Club of Salem, Virginia. The Jostens Trophy is designed to recognize the most outstanding men’s and women’s Division III basketball players of the year. The awards focus on three major criteria: basketball ability, academic prowess, and service to one’s surrounding communities. The Jostens Trophy models the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of a well-rounded Division III student-athlete. 

In addition to the Trophy, the Woolridge Scholarship, a $1,000 donation, will be presented in the names of the winners to their institutions. The scholarship is named after Dan Woolridge, a Salem Rotarian and the retired commissioner that founded the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, for his long-time dedication to Division III athletics. 

The winners were chosen by a 29-person national selection committee composed of current and former athletic administrators and head coaches, past Jostens Trophy recipients, and select members of the Division III media. 

Aleah Grundahl
Grundahl, a native of DeForest, Wisconsin and product of DeForest High School, is the most-decorated basketball player in UW-Whitewater history. She has been a force since she first stepped foot onto the floor in a Warhawk uniform – starting in every game she was available for during her five-year career. Grundahl’s list of accolades and the heights she has led the UWW program to is nothing short of extraordinary. 

“Aleah does it all – it’s not just basketball – she is the total package,” said Head Coach Keri Carollo. “Aleah is not only a phenomenal player, she is a great teammate, a fantastic leader and an amazing person.”

Grundahl, a two-time captain for UWW, has focused on team success throughout her career. She led the Warhawks to three Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (2020, 2022, 2023), a league tournament title (2023) and five NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament appearances (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024). Those five appearances include runs to the national title game (2022), the Elite 8 (2024) and the Sweet 16 (2023). 

Individually, Grundahl has accomplished a number of “firsts” and broken several records along the way. She is the first to be named the WIAC Player of the Year three times (2022-24) in league history, the first UWW basketball player to garner six All-America honors, and the first in UW-W history to receive the Jostens Trophy. Grundahl became the all-time leading scorer for UW-Whitewater and the WIAC during the 2023-24 campaign with a career total of 1,952 points. In addition to scoring records, Grundahl holds numerous top 20 marks in the program and WIAC record books.  

The list of individual accolades continued to grow throughout her career despite her humble personality and team-centric mindset. Grundahl was selected as the league’s Newcomer of the Year in 2020 and has been selected to the All-WIAC squads all five seasons. She has earned Region 9 Player of the Year honors twice from, was the 2022-23 UW-Whitewater Student-Athlete of the Year and was honored as the Athlete of the Year by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. On the national stage, Grundahl is a six-time All-American earning honors from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and three times each. A two-time WBCA All-Star, Grundahl’s jersey has been hung at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Ring of Honor for the last year. 

Equally as impressive is Grundahl’s list of academic accomplishments. She was named the WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s basketball – an award that also focuses on athletics, academics and community service. Grundahl is a five-time Chancellor’s Scholar, five-year honoree on the WIAC’s Scholastic Honor Roll and has been recognized on the Dean’s List her entire collegiate career. 

In service to the university and surrounding community, Grundahl is a four-year member of the UW-Whitewater Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a volunteer at Fairhaven Senior Services and has been student and substitute teaching this academic year. 

Grundahl will graduate with a degree in Elementary Education with a certification in Adaptive Education in May. 

“Aleah is the epitome of a Division III student-athlete,” noted Athletic Director Ryan Callahan. “Her career accomplishments in basketball – especially while student and substitute teaching this season – along with her success in the classroom, strong leadership qualities and community involvement put her in a class of her own.”

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