Matia Kostakis, Bates College

Matia Kostakis established herself as one of the top forwards in the NESCAC even as a first-year player at Amherst College, where she shared NESCAC Women's Basketball Co-Rookie of the Year honors with Bates guard Sarah Barton.

The Andover, Mass., native soon became Barton's teammate when she transferred to Bates for her sophomore year, and she started on the Bobcats women's basketball team for the next three years, averaging 11.3 points and 7.6 rebounds over that span while helping Bates win 48 games and make one appearance in the NCAA Championships. Among the postseason honors Kostakis won at Bates were All-NESCAC and All-State awards. She even established a Bates record for free throws in a game when she went 13-of-14 at the line in a 2006 win over rival Bowdoin. And during her senior year she became the 15th Bates woman to reach the 1,000 career points plateau.

But as good a player as Kostakis is, she's probably an even better student. An economics and mathematics double major, Kostakis maintained a grade point average of above 3.7, allowing her to pick up NESCAC All-Academic as well as ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team in 2007. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, the title of her thesis in economics is “Dividend Signaling in the Modern Market: An Empirical Analysis for an Application to Game Theory.” Her mathematics thesis is entitled “Cryptography and Elliptic Curves.”