Daniels Selected to NAIA’s Inaugural Association of Student-Athletes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (May 1, 2015) -- The NAIA National Office has announced the addition of John Brown University’s Shayna Daniels to the 27-member group that will serve on the newly-adopted Association of Student-Athletes (ASA).

Daniels, a two-year member of the volleyball program, will join the association’s first governance group made up entirely of students. The collaboration will function as the advocacy arm of the student-athlete collective. The ASA will include at least one representative from every conference, including the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.), and every NAIA championship-level sport.

“I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be included in a group of student-athletes that will play a role in shaping legislation at the national level,” said Daniels on her new appointment. “Though this is a large responsibility, I am looking forward to doing all I can and helping make decisions for the future of the NAIA, the Sooner Athletic Conference and my fellow student-athletes.”

Members of the ASA were selected from a pool of nominees forwarded to the National Office by each conference and the A.I.I.

“The ASA will allow student-athletes to have an input on the issues that directly impact them every day,” said Kent Paulson, Chair of the Conference Commissioners Association and Frontier Conference Commissioner. “This group will have the unique opportunity to discuss matters most important to them on the NAIA’s biggest stage.”

The ASA will be an association under the Council for Student-Athletes (CSA), a new council that focuses on student-athlete health, safety and development. The CSA will comprise representatives from other councils as well as nine members of the ASA, including the four officers.

“As NAIA student-athletes, we are expected to live our lives as both athletes and students based on the five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. As a member of the ASA, I plan on finding new ways to encourage NAIA student athletes to implement these five core values into not only their competitions, but also their academics and social lives,” added Daniels on her vision for the association. “Though athletics is what has brought us all together, it is what happens off the playing field that will mold us into the people God has created each of us to be.

“It isn't difficult to find ways to live out these core values in competition. What is difficult is being intentional about living them out off of the court and field. I believe that if we live our lives outside of athletics with these five core values in mind, our interactions and performance during competition will eventually effortlessly model these values.”

Daniels, a native of Magnolia, Texas, finished her sophomore campaign in 2014 with a pair of distinguished accolades. The 5-foot-8 setter was named to the Sooner Athletic Conference’s All-Conference first team and also garnered All-Regional honorable mention status by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She dished out a personal-best 663 assists in 2014, 44 more than last season, and scooped a career-high 262 digs. Daniels landed SAC Player of the Week honors on Sept. 22 and launched a career-best 71 service aces, including a single-game program record high of 10 in John Brown’s upset win over No. 22 Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Sept. 26. Daniels passed around more than 20 helpers on 18 occasions this season and ended the 2014 campaign with a career-high 35 assists in JBU’s loss to Texas Wesleyan in the SAC tournament quarterfinals.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for Shayna,” admitted head volleyball coach Ken Carver, “but also a chance for John Brown University, the volleyball program and the Sooner Athletic Conference to have a voice in a national conversation. Shayna is a vibrant go-getter and she is a well-spoken leader. I can see her thriving in this new position as an advocate for the university, the program and the conference.”

Exemplifying her coach’s praise, Daniels understands the task ahead of her and welcomes the opportunities.

“It is an honor and a privilege to represent John Brown University, the sport of volleyball and the Sooner Athletic Conference on this committee,” Daniels added. “Given the opportunity by the ASA to represent all of the incredible NAIA student-athletes in the SAC is such a blessing, and I greatly appreciate the chance to do so. I couldn't be more excited to see what God has planned for the NAIA in the coming years.”

Each member of the ASA will serve a two-year term; however, in the first year of the ASA, half the representatives were randomly selected to end their term early to create a staggered rollover each year.

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