Aren Rennacker, a graduating member of the Pacific Union College men's varsity basketball program, was named the 2011 California Pacific Conference (Cal Pac) Male Scholar Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, June 1. The Cal Pac Conference executive committee, made up of the athletic directors of the member institutions, selected Rennacker from an impressive list of nominees.
Cal Pac Commissioner Don Ott said, "To say that I am impressed with all the nominees is a tremendous understatement. Moreover, the two individuals we are honoring have accomplished the incredible academically, athletically, and personally. They all represent the finest traits of Champions of Character, and we look forward to seeing how they continue to impact our society."
The honor is given to a student athlete who has completed their four years of athletic eligibility, displayed excellence in the classroom, exhibited the five core values of the Champions of Character initiative, been a significant contributor to his or her team, and has been involved in the community and on campus.
Rennacker will graduate from PUC summa cum laude, with a degree in public relations/journalism. The Sacramento native and four-year starter was named First Team All Cal Pac this past season, finishing ranked third in the conference with 15.2 points per game. Rennacker has been a Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete for the past two years. Most recently, he was awarded with the "Who's Who Among Students In American Universities & Colleges" award. He was also named "Major of the Year" by the communications department in 2011.
"It's a great honor to be named the Cal Pac Scholar Athlete of the Year,” said Rennacker. “I was extremely blessed to have a great four-year experience as a student-athlete representing PUC, and it is only because of some great friends, teammates, and coaches Castillo and Evans that this was made possible. I tried to be a decent athlete and solid student while still being a focused disciple of Christ, so praise the Lord if I was successful doing that."
Aside from his accomplishments in the classroom and on the court, Rennacker consistently finds time to serve others. For the past three years, he has been a leader for KidzReach, an on-campus ministry where students volunteer to serve as mentors to high-risk children and teens. Rennacker has also taken part in mission trips, served at homeless shelters, and worked as a counselor or coach at various camps. Recently, Rennacker accepted a pastoral position at the Oceanside Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southern California.
“I can't say enough about how proud I am of Aren and this well-deserved recognition," said men's basketball coach Robert Castillo. "Aren is one of the most selfless and respectful young men that I know. Aside from his demanding class schedule and his unwavering commitment to the basketball program, Aren never lost sight of his mission to serve others.”
The California Pacific Conference, chartered in 1995 and representing Northern California, is one of the most diverse Division II leagues in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The 2010-2011 season had eight members in the conference: Pacific Union College, Bethany University, California Maritime Academy, Holy Names University, Menlo College, Mills College, Simpson University, and William Jessup University.
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