Matt Buren Named Recipient of the NAIA Emil S. Liston Award

BurenMatt Buren ’12 of Macomb, Illinois was selected by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to receive its prestigious Emil S. Liston award. The award is given annually to one male and one female basketball player based on excellence in character, playing ability, and scholarship.  The award is named in memory of Emil S. Liston, the first executive director of the NAIA and the founder of the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB).

Buren was nominated for the award, recommended by the conference, and selected by the NAIA Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives. Trinity will receive a $1,000 scholarship award from Daktronics in his name. 

In his three years on the basketball team, Buren has made an impact both on and off the court. He is a team captain and two-year starter. This past season he averaged 14.7 points and 5.7 rebounds and led the team and conference in field goal percentage at .583 percent.  He also surpassed the 1,000 career point milestone. Buren was named First-Team All-Conference as well as to the NCCAA North Central All-Region team.  He helped the team to a conference regular season co-championship, a NCCAA region tournament title, and a NCCAA National Championship appearance.  In addition he was the recipient of the Keith Albers Memorial Award, one of Trinity’s athletics department’s highest honors.

Buren“On the court Matt is a talented player and is committed to our team’s success,” said head basketball coach Kevin Lubbers.  “He is a young man of unmatched integrity and discipline and pours his heart and soul into everything that he does out of faithful response to the amazing gifts God has blessed him with.”

Buren has also been a positive influence in the classroom, on campus, and in the community. He sets the bar high and actively seeks ways to serve. He has served as a resident assistant in the dorms, been involved in numerous campus activities and community service projects, and is a spiritual leader on the basketball team. As a double major in theology and business, he delves into his academic work and has been recognized as a scholar-athlete at the conference and national level.

“Matt is a huge asset to our basketball program and our campus,” commented Larryl Humme, Vice President of Development. “He cannot separate his role on the court from his role in the classroom from his role in life. His purpose in life is to be the best student, the best athlete, the best person because he believes that is what God deserves and requires of him.”

The NAIA news release on the Emil S. Liston award can be found at