By Dalton Koller
Knightly News Reporter
Nate Jean-Philippe was honored with the Knightly News Athlete of the Year award at the Activities and Athletics banquet, which took place on May 31 in the Conference Center at Central Penn College.
He’s the fourth student-athlete and the first Knight’s men’s basketball player to take home the honor. In previous years, Connor Graham (2019), Ja-Lynn Burton-Jones (2020) and Sydney Bubb (2022) collected the award.
To be named Knightly News Athlete of the Year, one must excel in three categories: athletic achievements and performance, classroom excellence and consistency, and the ability to provide access or assistance to student and faculty reporters.
The award, developed in 2019 as a way to recognize an outstanding athlete annually, stems from the continued partnership between Central Penn athletics and the Knightly News. The club broadcast all 27 baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball games in the 2022-23 athletics season.
On the court, Jean-Philippe was named a USCAA All-American Honorable Mention in 2023, playing in all 25 contests throughout the season. He led the team in multiple categories, including points per game (20.5), minutes per game (29.5) and free-throw percentage (82.6%). He also finished the season with a 49.4 field goal percentage and an incredible 48.3 three-point percentage.
In addition, Jean-Philippe was a positive role model in the classroom, often providing academic assistance to his teammates outside class. He was also a student worker with the Central Penn College Athletic Department, playing a key role in the success of the 2023 home baseball season and the intramural program at the college.
During the award announcement speech, Knightly News Co-Adviser Professor Paul Miller said about Philippe, “His unwavering dedication to his craft is matched by his support for his peers, coaches, and teammates, fostering an environment of camaraderie and growth. Through his actions, he inspires his peers to reach their full potential, instilling a sense of belief in their abilities. In essence, Nate’s exceptional qualities and remarkable leadership demonstrate his commitment to personal growth and uplifting others, truly reflecting the transformative power of compassion and selflessness.”
In speaking with Philippe about receiving this award, he said, “It feels really good. I’m very thankful (and have a lot of) gratitude, especially coming (to Central Penn College) my first couple years and not playing much. And getting that award, I’m very thankful. Through the grace of God, I’m very grateful.”
Philippe truly exemplifies what it means to be a Central Penn College Knight day in and day out, both on and off the court.
While Jean-Philippe did walk across the stage at commencement last month, his future with the team is up in the air, as he still has a year of eligibility remaining due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He continues to weigh his options about returning to school for his master’s degree and playing a final season with the Knights.
Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by media-club co-advisers Professors Paul Miller and Michael Lear-Olimpi.