Jen Berkowitz honored with Nellie Pratt Elliot Award

The award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale, was presented at Class Day exercises on Sunday.

Senior forward Jen Berkowitz, who led the Yale women’s basketball team to a record-breaking season that culminated with winning the Women’s Basketball Invitational tournament, is the recipient of the 2018 Nellie Pratt Elliot Award — the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale. The award was presented on Old Campus at Class Day exercises on Sunday.

The Nellie Pratt Elliot Award goes to the senior woman whose excellence in the field of athletics and in her life at Yale best represents the ideals of sportsmanship and Yale tradition. It is awarded in memory of Nellie Pratt Elliot, who was an assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Yale for 46 years.

Jen Berkowitz

Berkowitz was a first team All-Ivy League selection this season, becoming the first Yale women’s basketball player to earn first-team honors since Sarah Halejian ’15 in 2014. She was an honorable mention All-Ivy honoree last year.

Berkowitz led the team in scoring and rebounding each of the past two seasons. This season her 14.3 points per game placed her fifth in the Ivy League.  She was ninth in the league in rebounding (7.0 rebounds per game). Berkowitz also had the league’s best field goal percentage each of the past two seasons, and her .546 percentage this year ranked 33rd nationally. She established career highs in all three of those categories this year, and at the team banquet last month she was honored with the Karen Yarasavage Bulldog Award.

Berkowitz missed just one game in her career, and started every game the past two seasons. On Mar. 3 at Princeton, she added her name to the Yale record book when her layup at 5:15 of the first quarter gave her 1,000 points for her career. She is the 21st Yale player to accomplish that feat, and finished 18th on Yale’s all-time scoring list with 1,072 points.

With Berkowitz leading the way, Yale enjoyed a memorable season. She hit the go-ahead shot with 29 seconds left in Yale’s 54-50 win vs. Central Arkansas in the WBI championship game on Mar. 29. That made Yale the first Ivy League women’s basketball team to win a national postseason tournament. It was also the Bulldogs’ 19th victory of the year, a school record.

Berkowitz aspires to become a doctor. She has interned at Shriners Hospitals for Children and volunteered at Ellis Memorial, an after-school day care center serving predominantly low-income working families in Boston.

An Academic All-Ivy League selection, Berkowitz is a pre-med history of science, medicine and public health major in Saybrook College. She is a graduate of The Rivers School.

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