Jenna Taylor selected as Jostens Trophy finalist


Caleb Geer

Graduate student Jenna Taylor was a top 11 finalist for the Jostens Trophy. Taylor said she has loved every minute on the team.

by Paige O’Connor, Photo Editor

Graduate student Jenna Taylor was selected as one of the top 11 women’s finalists for the Josten’s Trophy this year to recognize her hard work and talents on the basketball court.

The Jostens Trophy honors – one for men’s basketball and one for women’s basketball – are national awards created by the Rotary Club of Salem and sponsored by Jostens, Inc., to recognize the most outstanding men’s and women’s Division III basketball players of the year. 

The awards focus on three major criteria: basketball ability, academic achievement and service to one’s surrounding communities. The Jostens Trophy models the Rotary International motto of “service above self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of a well-rounded Division III student-athlete. 

The 2022 season marks the 24th time the Jostens Trophy honors will be awarded.

“I’m humbled to be recognized along with the top players in the country,” Taylor said. “I know there was a lot of talent around Division III women’s basketball this year so just being mentioned as a finalist is an honor.”

Taylor’s final year of eligibility has been nothing short of success, as more milestones were created and goals were achieved. 

“I think the greatest achievement was going undefeated and winning the conference in back-to-back seasons,” Taylor said. “I think this is up there with being a top 30 finalist for Woman of the Year last year but this is definitely really special.”

Taylor has been listed on, named twice to the WBCA All-American basketball team, once to the 2022 WBCA Women’s Collegiate All-Star team and received many other honors.

“Coach Niemuth and Coach Lonning have definitely both helped me grow as a player and person over the last six years,” Taylor said. “My teammates also have been super supportive and have pushed me day in and day out. I’m super thankful for everyone in the program and how they helped me grow.”

“I’m just proud of everything we have accomplished in the last couple of years,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s strong work ethic and love for basketball kept her motivated through it all.

“I think just having the mindset of trying to get better every day and be the best team we could be was motivation enough,” Taylor said. “I think everyone having that same mindset everyday brought out the best in everyone.”  

As for advice to her freshman self and for others, she said that she would tell herself to soak up every second on the court with her teammates. 

Simpson created great memories for Taylor, including being around her teammates and peers. 

“I think my favorite memories were definitely cutting down the nets in Cowles Fieldhouse the last two years,” she said. “Doing that in front of our fans and seeing our hard work pay off was really special.”

Taylor plans to move to Des Moines to work full-time as a tax accountant for Ernst & Young.

For a full list of Taylor’s accomplishments, visit her Simpson College Athletics biography page.