Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) of The University of Scranton men's basketball team had an outstanding season for the Royals, earning Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first-team honors, as well as D3hoops.com All-Middle Atlantic Region first-team accolades.
Vitkus also shines in the classroom, sporting a 3.62 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in international business with a concentration in Asian studies and minors in Chinese and finance.
On Thursday, Vitkus was honored for both his work on the court and in the classroom as he was named the Landmark Conference Senior Scholar Athlete for men's basketball.
Vitkus averaged 17.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.4 assists and 0.8 steals while leading the Royals to the team's seventh Landmark Conference championship in 10 years. Scranton finished the season 22-7 after advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
During Vitkus' career, the Royals won at least 20 games three times, advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all four seasons, and won Landmark Conference crowns in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Vitkus is also a three-time member of the Landmark Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll, a member of the Dean's List, and was named to the Capital One Academic All-District team by the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2016.
The Landmark Conference Senior Scholar Athlete Award recognizes the top senior student-athlete in each sport. Honorees must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.20 and are selected by a committee of Landmark Conference officers, athletics directors, faculty athletic representatives, senior woman administrators, and sports information directors.
Vitkus is the fourth Scranton student-athlete to earn the honor in the 2016-17 academic year. Jimmy Buckley (men's cross country), Erin Casey (women's soccer) and Matthew Busch (men's soccer) earned the award in the fall.