Rice University basketball player Seth Gearhart has recieved no shortage of academic accolades.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Seth Gearhart matching up with a Texas A&M player.

Former Wilsonville basketball player Seth Gearhart has received no shortage of academic accolades as a student-athlete at Rice University.

Most recently, Gearhart was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court for achieving a 3.2 GPA or higher while juggling academics with the rigors of Division 1 college basketball.

Gearhart was also been named to the Conference USA All-Academic team and has been chosen for the Commissioners Honor Roll twice.

“It’s expected that you do well in the classroom," Gearhart said. "This is a top 20 in the nation academic school. They make sure you study."

He said his current and former coach at Rice forces students who aren’t achieving to attend mandatory study halls and office hours.

Though he feels like going to an intense academic university puts players at a disadvantage, Gearhart said managing the two spheres of his college experience has gotten easier over time.

“There are times where other players around the nation were able to get in the gym late on a Thursday night where Rice students had to be studying instead," he said. "(But) you get in a rhythm as you get older."

Though Gearhart is happy he’s done well in the classroom, he’s also hungry for greater success on the court.

After a respectable 19-16 2011-12 season during Gearhart’s freshman year, the Owls have slid backward and gone 12-49 over the last two seasons.

“It was a disappointing season," he said, referring to Rice's most recent campaign in 2013-14. "We didn’t get anywhere near the amount of wins we wanted. Last season was a learning experience."

However, with new head coach Mike Rhoades taking over the helm, Gearhart is optimistic about next season.

“I have high hopes," he said."I think we are going to surprise some people. We should be competitive every game."

He added that Rhoades focuses on playing with speed and energy.

“The new coach preaches speed," he said. "Everything is fast, running pressing, getting after people. We do a lot of conditioning."

Individually, Gearhart had a breakout season last year, leading the team in rebounds, steals and blocks and being named to the Cable Car Classic all-tournament team.

Next year, as just one of two seniors, he plans to lead and do all the little things that make winning possible.

“My goal individually is to do whatever I need to do to help this team win,” he said.

But regardless of wins and losses, he has thoroughly enjoyed his collegiate years.

“It’s been a great experience to move on and play Conference USA basketball against great players,” he said.

Once Gearhart picks up his diploma, he may try his luck in the world of professional basketball in order to potentially travel Europe and take a break before “real life” begins.

“If that doesn’t work out, investment banking is plan B," he said. "I would love to pursue a career in basketball oversees. If not, I’ll be doing interviews in October and September."

Because Rice lacks a business school, Gearhart chose economics.

“Economics is a good degree when you’re young. It pays very well,” he said.

However, the world of investment banking can be exhausting. He pointed out that it would require 80-100 hours per week of work.

“It’s not something I want to do long term,” he said.

But for now, Gearhart is focused mainly on helping Rice basketball garner a winning season.

He said: “Just the fact that it’s the last go-around and we have a new coach with a new style. I’m motivated to practice and work out even harder.”

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