Nationally-recognized on the basketball court and consistently impactful off of it, Kelly is a quiet leader who prefers to let her actions do the talking. As a four-time NAIA All-American, two-time Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and the 2006 NAIA National Player of the Year, her on-court exploits speak loudly, but they do not tell the whole story. The team captain and 2,500-point scorer served as a leader of Vanguard University’s athletic ministries and weekly bible study, as well as the L.I.O.N. Champions of Character program in the Costa Mesa community. Kelly played an active role in “Frontline,” a campus ministry in which veteran students welcome freshmen to campus and help them move in. Last summer, Kelly traveled to Thailand and Bhutan on a mission trip, working with children and helping women escape prostitution. A liberal studies major, Kelly made the Dean’s List every semester at Vanguard, receiving Golden State Athletic and NAIA Scholar Athlete recognition. She hopes to become an elementary school teacher after concluding her playing career. A native of Glendale, Ariz., Kelly led Vanguard to a 125-10 record over her four years at the school, including a 31-1 mark and a trip to the NAIA semifinals in 2007.
Kelly Schmidt is the recipient of the 2007 NAIA Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award.