Lynchburg, Va. -- Even after all the accolades Nikki Simpao won on the field for the Lynchburg field hockey team, the soon-to-graduate senior isn't done with the awards.
Simpao earned one of the NCAA's 13 Ethnic Minority Graduate Scholarships, a $10,000 award toward her first year of graduate school in 2019-20. She will be heading to University of Maryland, Baltimore's school of physical therapy next year.
"I am so incredibly honored to have received this scholarship that not only recognizes my accomplishments on and off the field over the last four years," Simpao said. "This scholarship will afford me the opportunity to continue my education, so that I can work with student athletes, either as a physical therapist or a future coach."
To be eligible for the award, graduating seniors must carry at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA, attain admission to a graduate program that will assist the applicant to obtain a career in collegiate athletics and show distinction as a member of her campus community.
The scholarship is given to 13 ethnic minority and 13 female student-athletes each year.
The NCAA also covers scholarship recipients' trip to the 2019 NCAA Career in Sports Forum, a four-day event in Indianapolis, Ind., in early June designed to help students chart out their careers in collegiate athletics.
"Obviously, I am very proud of Nikki's numerous awards on the field hockey field, but this award solidifies all the great things she has done as a student here at the university," Hornets head field hockey coach Enza Steele said. "This scholarship will allow her the opportunity to enter physical therapy school with confidence and academic passion."
Simpao, an athletic training major, finished one of the finest four-year careers in Lynchburg field hockey history this past fall, helping the Hornets to the 2018 Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship and the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament.
The Stafford, Va., native was a three-time All-American, four-time All-South Region, two-time ODAC player of the year, and holds Lynchburg's single-game, single-season and career assists records.
RELATED: Lynchburg field hockey record book
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