The accounting major who led Seattle Pacific to last year's men's basketball league tournament championship and a 27-4 team record has been named the 2012-13 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. David Downs received six of the 10 first-place votes from conference athletic directors.
Downs is only the second basketball player in the 12-year history of the conference to earn this recognition, joining SPU's Tony Binetti, the scholar-athlete winner for the 2005-06 season and a 2006 SBE graduate in business finance/economics. In either case, the challenges have been clear for these SBE students.
"People have told me I am crazy to do basketball and accounting," says Downs, "but I tell them I am just getting ready for what public accounting will be like!"
In the process of getting ready, Downs compiled a 3.82 cumulative grade point average while a junior at SPU. Earlier in the year, he was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team for the second season in a row. He is the first men's basketball player in GNAC history to receive Academic All-America honors twice. He has also twice been named to the GNAC Academic All-Conference team.
Off the court, the 6-2 point guard feels his accounting internship at Deloitte has given him a big boost, and that in four weeks of working with major clients such as Microsoft and Boeing he gained "a year's worth" of accounting skills. "The School of Business and Economics at SPU has truly been a unique experience," he says. "I feel that I have such an advantage, with all the one-on-one teaching I receive."
By winning the conference academic award, Downs is also now a candidate for the Conference Commissioners Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, to be selected this summer.