A leader by example on the court who persevered through a major injury and an affable guard who led NCAA Division II basketball in scoring were recognized Wednesday with the highest awards in Oklahoma Christian athletics.
Fifth-year basketball player Jordan Box was named as Mr. Eagle for the 2018-19 academic year, while women's hoops star Addy Clift was chosen as Ms. Eagle. Head coaches and athletic department administrators and trainers voted on the awards, which are presented annually to the male and female senior student-athletes who best combine success in their sport with representing the ideals of OC.
Box, from McKinney, Texas, missed all but one game of his first sophomore season in 2015-16 after suffering a knee injury in the opener. He worked his way back to become one of the Heartland Conference's top guards each of the past two seasons, averaging 15.4 points per game as a junior and 16.0 points per game as a senior.
Both seasons, the Eagles made surprise runs in the Heartland tournament, advancing to the title game as the No. 7 seed in 2018 and knocking off NCAA tournament-bound Lubbock Christian (Texas) in 2019. As a senior, league coaches selected Box for the All-Heartland second-team list.
"This is a well-deserved honor for Jordan," OC coach Kendre Talley said. "He has laid a great foundation here and set the example of what a student-athlete at this university should look like. I have had the opportunity to be around him his freshman year and also as he finished out his senior year. There has been nothing but improvement and consistency in his character.
"Since I once received this award, it means a lot to me, as it will to him. It is a great representation of your family and shows that his parents have done a great job with him. I am extremely proud of Jordan and know that he will continue to be himself and has a great future ahead of him."
Box finished his career at No. 26 on OC's career scoring list with 1,347 points. He is the fifth basketball player to be named Mr. Eagle, joining former teammates Elijah Strickland (2018) and John Moon (2017) along with Talley (2014), Devan White (2013) and OC Athletic Hall of Famer Jason Taylor (2010)
Clift, from Kiowa, established herself as the highest-scoring guard in OC women's basketball history, finishing her career with 2,104 points (fifth on the program's all-time list) and earning All-America honors for a second straight season after leading Division II in scoring at 26.4 points per game. She was named as the Heartland's player of the year, the first OC player to receive that honor.
She set OC records for single-game scoring (45), single-quarter scoring (21), season scoring average, and career made (307) and attempted (842) 3-pointers and tied the school mark for single-game made free throws with 17, twice.
Clift also obliterated Heartland Conference career, season and single-game scoring records as a senior. She was the only player to have two of the top 10 scoring performances this season in Division II, as her 45-point outing in a win over St. Mary's (Texas) on Jan. 19 ranked fifth and her 44-point performance in a win over Eastern New Mexico on Dec. 17 tied for sixth.
She finished third in Division II in both free throws made (219) and attempted (250) and 18th in free-throw percentage at 87.6 percent. Clift was fifth in total points scored with 739, in 28 games.
Clift finished fourth among active players in Division II in career points (2,104), first in career 3-pointers (307), fifth in career free-throw percentage (85.0) and ninth in scoring average (18.46).
"Addy embodies all that we want our athletes to be," OC coach Stephanie Findley said. "She works extremely hard, whether on the court or in the classroom, and she does it with humility and grace. She always has a smile on her face. She never complains or says a cross word."
Clift is the fifth basketball player to be named as Ms. Eagle, joining former teammate McKenzie Stanford (2017), Roz Hamilton (2014), Katy O'Steen (2013) and Lindsey Gipson (2009).