Haller Garners CAC Medal of Inspiration

Nina Haller earns 2017 CAC Medal of Inspiration
Nina Haller earns 2017 CAC Medal of Inspiration

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

York, Pa. – Senior Nina Haller (Chevy Chase, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase), alongside Marymount University's William Bryan, was named a recipient of the 2016-17 Capital Athletic Conference Medal of Inspiration as announced Wednesday morning by Assistant Commissioner Tim Mowrer. Haller is the fifth St. Mary's student-athlete to win the CAC Medal of Inspiration honor since the award's inception in 1997.

The CAC Medal of Inspiration, which was originally known as the CAC Unsung Hero, is awarded to person(s) from the conference who have persevered through extraordinary circumstances and whose determination, devotion, and passion are exemplary, revered among their peers, and worthy of special recognition.

View conference office release on CAC Medal of Inspiration winners

One of the top women's basketball players in the league this season, Haller was a First Team All-CAC honoree in 2016-17 and concluded her career as a three-time all-conference performer. She averaged a CAC-leading 9.7 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game and ranked third in the conference in scoring with 14.6 points per contest.

Haller also finished ranked 12th in Division III in blocked shots per game and 13th with 80 blocked shots while ranking ninth in the conference with a .439 field goal percentage.

This season, she scored in double figures 19 times, including four 20-point performances, and posted 11 double-digit rebounding games while collecting 10 double-doubles to rank 85th in Division III. For her career, Haller became the 10th Seahawk to eclipse the 1,000-point threshold, ranked second all-time in St. Mary's history with 194 blocks, and recorded 28 double-doubles in 96 games played.

By all accounts, the 6-3 center had a fantastic campaign for the Seahawks that almost didn't happen. She came into the 2016-17 academic year with a torn ACL, a knee injury which usually means the end of an athlete's season. Haller incurred the potential season-ending trauma at the end of July during summer league play.

Less than three months from the start of the season, she was left contemplating two options regarding her final year at St. Mary's. Her first option was to have knee surgery and forego the season completely. Haller's second option would involve (and mandate) a 100% commitment to working hard in the athletic training room as well as the weight room and wearing a knee brace all season long just for a chance to play.

She obviously chose the latter and went on to have her best season ever at St. Mary's, starting all 25 games and averaging 29.8 minutes on her way to becoming one of the conference's top players. We're not sure when Haller slept as she balanced four on-campus jobs and a challenging academic course load as a psychology major and German minor while dedicating herself to improving her physical fitness, including strengthening her knee, to survive the long, strenuous season of basketball.

Her perseverance showed on and off the court as she achieved her academic and athletic goals. Haller graduated in four years with Cum Laude honors, posting a 3.707 GPA for the 2016-17 academic year with a perfect 4.0 during the spring semester. A three-time member of the Dean's List at St. Mary's, she was also a three-time CAC All-Academic team member. On the court, Haller notched her 1,000 career point and earned a spot on the all-conference first team.

CAC Unsung Hero/Medal of Inspiration winners from St. Mary's

  • 2001 – Cara Roviello (field hockey)
  • 2006 – Katie Greenberg (women's soccer/women's basketball)
  • 2012 – Kira Schwartz (women's soccer)
  • 2014 – Kelsey Wirtz (women's soccer)
  • 2017 – Nina Haller (women's basketball)

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