Vote for Denise Believeau for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
From earning Rookie of the Year honors her first season to joining an elite group of Wildcat women to net more than 1,000 career points in December, women’s basketball captain Denise Beliveau ’12 has long specialized in making extraordinary accomplishments look easy. On February 1, in recognition of her achievements both on and off the basketball court, the 5’11” forward from Framingham, Mass. was named a finalist for the national Lowe’s senior CLASS award. The first UNH player to earn this honor, Beliveau stands in the company of top players from powerhouse Division I schools like Stanford, Notre Dame, Memphis, and Purdue. Selected from an initial pool of 60 outstanding players, Beliveau was one of the final 10 chosen by a national committee for her standout career and the contributions she has made in the greater community during her time at UNH.
A grad student who extended her NCAA eligibility the hard way—sitting out the 2008–09 season after knee surgery and suffering serious facial injuries the following two—Beliveau has served as a team captain for the past four years. Over that time, she has not only proven herself an exceptional all-around player, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding in the 2010–11 season and notching top-10 rankings in scoring, rebounding, free-throw percentage, three-pointers made, and three-point percentage in America East, but also a leader off the court.
In addition to working toward a graduate degree in Leadership and Children’s Health and Disabilities, Beliveau volunteers with several organizations in the Seacoast area, serves as an academic tutor and mentor at Oyster River Middle School, and is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
“Denise is a proven leader who has battled through a great deal of adversity throughout her career,” says head coach Maureen Magarity. “Her work ethic on the court and in the classroom have been exemplary.”
Named the Massachusetts Female Athlete of the Year by both the Boston Globe and the Metro West Daily News her senior year of high school, Beliveau was wooed by a number of Division I athletic programs—with offers in both basketball and lacrosse. She chose UNH because she liked the basketball team and the campus, and Durham felt just far enough away from home.
The Lowe’s honor, which recognizes fourth-year players for their commitment and contributions to their university, is a fitting tribute as Beliveau’s closes in on the end of her final season as a Wildcat, a campaign that has seen her ranked in the top-10 of eight different America East performance categories. With three games remaining in her UNH career, she also stands in the top-10 in program history in four different categories: points scored, three-pointers, rebounds, and steals.
Myriad accomplishments notwithstanding, Beliveau wasn’t expecting the Lowe’s nomination. “When I first heard I was nominated, I was just taken aback, because it was so unexpected and humbling at the same time,” she says. “It really is quite an honor to be recognized for accomplishments both on and off the court, but its also rewarding to be able to represent the University on national level.”
The CLASS award winner will be selected based on a combination of fan ballots and NCAA Division I coach and media votes and will be announced during the NCAA Women’s Final Four in early April. Members of the UNH community can vote for Beliveau by visiting http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/womens_basketball_2011-12.
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Written by Kristin Duisberg. Photos by Gil Talbot, UNH Athletic Media & Public Relations