BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) has named Dakota State University’s Jessi Giles as the 2021 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) annual award nominee.
The national winners will be named during the NAIA National Awards Day on Sept. 15. The NAIA winners will be recognized as part of the NAIA National awards luncheon at the national convention in Kansas City, Mo., in April.
Giles was selected to the A.O. Duer award nominee by the NSAA. The Duer scholarship award presented by Daktronics is named in honor of the NAIA’s former executive secretary who served the association for 26 years.
This award has been annually presented since 1967 to a male and female junior student-athlete in any sport who has excelled in scholarship, character and citizenship.
Giles competes in women’s basketball and track & field for the Trojans. She was the first DSU women’s basketball athlete to be named to the NAIA All-America first team at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. She helped the Trojans to one of the best records in school history, finishing 27-4 overall and 14-0 in NSAA play. The Trojans qualified for the NAIA National Tournament for the first time since 2008, as they advanced to the quarterfinals.
It was the second straight year that Giles was listed on the NAIA All-America list (honorable mention on NAIA Division II in 2019-20). She was also selected as the NSAA Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. She is a three-time NSAA All-Conference performer (a first-team selection in 2020 and ‘21 and a second-team selection in ‘19).
Giles has been named to the NSAA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field All-Conference six times. She was a member of the 1600-meter relay team and the 400-meter relay team and ran the 400-meter dash this spring.
In the 2019 outdoor track & field conference meet, Giles won the heptathlon event with a school record of 3,593 points. She was also a member of the winning 1600-meter relay team and won the NSAA All-Conference honor in the 400-meter hurdles.
She is a conference and NAIA scholar-athlete for her academic success at DSU. She was named to the College of Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America NAIA Women’s Basketball first team.
She is the daughter of Chris and Karen Giles of Madison and will be a senior English for News Media major this fall.