If you ask her teammates to describe her they will lovingly say,“nerd,” but that is something junior guard Peyton Padgett takes with a smile. Now, she has the awards to go with the nickname. On March 6, the Great American Conference (GAC) awarded Padgett with the conference’s Elite Scholar Athlete Award for the second consecutive season. Padgett has the highest GPA of any athlete competing in this year’s GAC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
“More my freshman and sophomore year, my teammates would tease me about studying so much,” Padgett said. “But academically, the shift from high school to college was not that big for me.”
Padgett said she was studious in high school and is used to juggling her studies with basketball.
“I’ve found what study habits work for me, and I stick to them,” Padgett said.
Padgett’s study habits actually help her teammates. Sophomore guard Carissa Caples shares the same major, communication science and disorders, as Padgett. She said when she sees Padgett studying on the bus, it is a friendly reminder for her to hit the books.
“If I ever have a question about anything related to classes, she is so willing to help,” Caples said. “It helps me a lot to have someone on the team that has experience in my major.”
Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Jan Traughber, one of Padgett’s professors, said Padgett is always engaged in the material.
“I’m very impressed with her spirit,” Traughber said. “She doesn’t use her time commitments to basketball as an excuse but demonstrates the ability to be successful in both arenas. That is something to be commended.”
Traughber said Padgett is quiet in the classroom, which is a reversal of the way she is on the court. Padgett is a vocal leader during games and is constantly talking to teammates. Padgett has started every game of the Lady Bisons this season and averages four points, three assists and seven rebounds per game. Padgett is Harding’s 16th Academic All-District recipient since 1997.