The award is the highest overall award given by the NCCAA with the handbook describing the award winner as a player "who represents the model NCCAA student-athlete" with an athlete's athletic accomplishments, team leadership qualities, academic achievements, and Christian ministry all taken into account during the selection. Buchanan was nominated by the Johnson University athletic department with recommendations being written for her by her coach, Seth Hale, and the leader of her team on the mission field, Todd Richards.
Buchanan is a Junior on the Johnson University women's tennis team but plans to graduate early this upcoming December with a degree in English Literature as well as Bible and Theology. While on the court, Madi has logged the most doubles wins in program history and the second most wins overall playing most of her matches at the top spots in the lineup. Madi was elected team captain bother her sophomore and junior years and worked as a peer tutor at Johnson University's academic support center while keeping her own GPA at 3.89. Madi is incredibly passionate about working and bringing awareness to the ongoing refugee crisis where she spent time over this past Christmas break working at Camp Moria in Greece. The leader of her team, Todd Richards, wrote in his recommendation, "Life in Moria is desperate and the physical work we did there was forgotten the moment we finished. Yet Madi's willingness to be present and share herself with people in need, left an indelible mark on the lives of those she met there. Madi showed love and care to people desperate to know they had not been forgotten."
Coach Hale said, "I am overjoyed that Madi was able to receive this award and it is so completely deserved. Madi has been such an important part of our team, both as an athlete and as a person. She is a friend and mentor to her entire team and makes coaching her such an incredible pleasure. On top of what she brings to the court, Madi is a world changer with a heart for the hurting and her attitude and work has and will continue to make the world a better place. I am glad that her pursuits and character can be shared and celebrated by Johnson University, the NCCAA, and other institutions across the country."