Tester receives prestigious UMAC leadership award

College of St. Scholastica senior Brett Tester, an Andover graduate, was named a recipient of the 2013 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award.

The honor goes to one male and one female student from a conference-member program and recognizes graduating seniors who balance academic, leadership and service success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.

Andover graduate and St. Scholastica senior Brett Tester was the recipient of the UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award after a stellar collegiate career on the off the basketball court.
Andover graduate and St. Scholastica senior Brett Tester was the recipient of the UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award after a stellar collegiate career on the off the basketball court. Photo courtesy of Jack Rendulich

Tester, an accounting and finance double major, has been a standout for the Saints in basketball for the past four seasons starting with UMAC Freshman of the Year award in 2009-10 and he earned All-Conference honors the following three seasons. He captained the Saints as a junior and senior and is only the second player in program history to record 1,500 points and 600 rebounds in a career.

The other Saints player was recently inducted into the CSS Hall of Fame. “Once again, it was humbling to see my four-year career play out so well for me. I am very fortunate to say the least.”

At the NCAA Division III level, schools cannot issue scholarships and as Tester said, the potential of playing after college is very slim.

“For me, being a D-III athlete means being a D-III scholar-athlete,” he said. “In my opinion, D-III athletes play basketball for one reason, and that is for the love of the game… athletes are not only there to compete in the sport they love, but they are there to excel in the classroom.

“This is how I shaped my entire outlook on the four years attending St. Scholastica. Basketball and the athletics side of things were very important, but academics stood above all.”

His best memories from the St. Scholastica hardwood stem from the relationships developed with coaches and teammates. “What I learned the most from my career is that basketball is so much more than winning and losing,” Tester said. “It’s the memories I made with teammates. All of the friendships and bonds I have created with the basketball family will shape my friendships for the rest of my life and that is what is most important.”

Off the court his achievements and accolades are numerous, including the only St. Scholastica student-athlete to be named a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) First Team Academic All-American twice in addition to conference academic honors and a Benedictine Scholar by the college for demonstrating a high level of academic achievement.

He said the two All-American honors were extremely rewarding for all the hard work he put in on and off the court. “To be top five out of all D-III scholar-athletes in back-to-back years was humbling and I think it was a great achievement,” Tester said.

Tester has served as a game management employee for volleyball, football and softball.

He took tickets at football games for some time before moving on to be a line judge for two seasons and the official scorekeeper with the volleyball program. Among the roles with the softball program, Tester ran the scoreboard and did miscellaneous field maintenance.

Tester has served as a teaching assistant in the accounting department and tutors other finance and accounting majors as well as being a tax software trainer for income tax students. He’s also interned for a local firm preparing tax returns and supervised other interns.

Away from his major, Tester has served the Duluth community, volunteering as a reading partner with area elementary schools and helped clean-up of public hiking trails.

Tester plans to remain in Duluth after graduation, working at McGladrey, an accounting firm in downtown Duluth doing tax and audit work and possibly play a pick-up basketball game or two around Duluth.