For Video Announcement
Somerset, NJ -- Djordje Spasic (Belgrade, Serbia/Third Belgrade)
made an historic splash at the inaugural Northeast Conference Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships this past April.
Two months later, the St. Francis Brooklyn junior accounted for two more memorable firsts.
Spasic won the NEC Male Team Student-Athlete of the Year Award presented by Provident Bank
, making the Serbian-born NEC sprints champion both the first men’s swimmer and the first St. Francis Brooklyn athlete to ever hold the honor.
Sponsored by Provident Bank
, the NEC uses the Student-Athlete of the Year Award to annually recognize individual excellence in both the academic and athletic realms as well as leadership and contributions to one’s community.
Spasic was chosen out of a pool of 10 finalists from across the NEC's core membership. He joined Wagner’s Tiffany Hanna (women’s track & field), who was recognized as the NEC Female Team Student-Athlete of the Year one day earlier.
The award stands as the height of Spasic’s two years in Brooklyn Heights.
“It was surreal. I did not believe it [when I was told I had won the award. The first thing I did was I called my mom and my dad for what was probably one of the happiest moments of my life,” said Spasic. “I put in a lot on work for this. One of my goals was to be a student-athlete at St. Francis College, but when I was announced as the Male Student-Athlete for the entire conference, I was speechless.”
Training through the pandemic, Spasic went on to secure six medals (three individual, three relay) at the first-ever NEC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships in April. Individually, Spasic struck gold in the 50 freestyle and snared silver medals in the 100 free and 200 free. His 50 free and 100 free times set St. Francis Brooklyn program records. Spasic also swam on three medal-winning relays, contributing to SFBK record times in the 400 medley and the 800 relay.
“It [the NEC Championships] was a tough meet for me because I had 13 races in three days, but my teammates were so supportive of me,” said Spasic about his record-setting week in the pool.
His academic achievements are as awe-inspiring as his athletic exploits. In two years since transferring from the University of Bridgeport, Spasic has twice earned a place on the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll while sporting a 3.913 cumulative grade-point average. The Management and Information Technology double major has landed on the Dean’s List for four consecutive semesters since landing in Brooklyn Heights. Spasic’s academic success earned him an invitation into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. The active SFBK Business Club member completed a one-year internship with the Merchant Cash Company, a Wall Street investment firm.
Sharing his talents with the younger generation, Spasic coaches for the Vracar Swimming Club in his native Serbia. He’s also spent time as a rescue crew member for Belgrade Association for Animal Protection. In the United States, Spasic’s service efforts include volunteering for the New York City Marathon and working to provide a community senior center with food during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The whole journey has been a great success for me,” said Spasic. “I started training as a swimmer and my primary goal was to swim in college. To be a swimmer, to be in the United States, to compete collegiately and the whole journey of being a student-athlete is what I’m most proud of.”
NEC STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS
2020-21 Djordje Spasic, St. Francis Brooklyn (male team, swimming)
Tiffany Hanna, Wagner (female team, track and field)
2019-20 Jonathan Besselink, Wagner (male team, cross country/track and field)
Sara Phelan, Saint Francis U (female team, track and field)
2018-19 Evan McDonald, Fairleigh Dickinson (male team, baseball)
Pascalle Tego, Wagner (female team, golf)
2017-18 Charlton Boyd, Wagner (male team, tennis)
Dana Davis, Robert Morris (female team, lacrosse)
2016-17 Kyle Mummau, Bryant (male team, lacrosse)
Brianna Tredway, Wagner (female team, softball)
2015-16 Max Vogt, Bryant (male team, tennis)
Amanda Lucia, Wagner (female team, swimming)
2014-15 Phil Faccone, Wagner (male team, football)
Nicole Sleith, Robert Morris (female team, softball)
2013-14 Meredith Ketchmark, Wagner (swimming)
2012-13 Steve Cioicci, Wagner (football)
2011-12 Julia Prantl, Fairleigh Dickinson (tennis)
2010-11 Katherine Bossardet, CCSU (cross country, track and field)
2009-10 Kundayi Mawema, Bryant (field hockey)
2008-09 Alexandra Tomlinson, Wagner (swimming)
2007-08 Tiffany Hahn, Monmouth (track and field)
2006-07 Erika Jacobs, Saint Francis U (cross country, track and field)
2005-06 Joy Gallagher, Wagner (basketball, softball)
2004-05 Beth Swink, Saint Francis U (basketball)
2003-04 Naomi Campano, Mount St. Mary’s (lacrosse)
2002-03 Sabrina Mariani, CCSU (soccer)