April 23, 2008
FAIRFAX, VA. – Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine has announced the male and female finalists for the 2008 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars of the Year Awards.
The male finalists are Marcus Dixon, a senior football player from Hampton University; Cliff Hammonds, a senior basketball player from Clemson University; and Brian Robiskie, a football player from The Ohio State University.
The female finalists are Sarah-Jo Lawrence, a senior basketball player from The George Washington University; Momei Qu, a senior tennis player from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Jessica Young, a senior soccer player from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), which marks the second straight year a finalist has hailed from UMBC.
Hammonds just completed his fourth year as a starter on the Clemson basketball team. Earlier this year he was named third-team All-ACC on the court and first-team All-ACC academically. He was the first recipient of the league’s Skip Prosser Award, which is presented to the top student-athlete in men’s basketball. Hammonds will graduate in May with a double major in architecture and psychology. He will be the first Clemson men’s basketball player on record to receive a degree in architecture.
The winners of the Arthur Ashe Award will be announced in the May 29, 2008, edition of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education as well as in Play magazine found in the Sunday June 1 edition of The New York Times.
All of the finalists impressed the Arthur Ashe Awards selection committee, which was comprised of Diverse editors and staff, members of The New York Times staff as well as other leaders and sports enthusiasts in the higher education community. All of the nominees exemplified the high standards of scholarship, athleticism and humanitarianism that tennis legend Arthur Ashe stood for.
In 1992, Black Issues In Higher Education magazine, now Diverse, established the Sports Scholars Awards to honor students-athletes of color who exemplify the standards set by tennis great Arthur Ashe Jr. A scholar and athlete, Ashe sought to expand opportunities for young people. Each year Diverse invites every postsecondary institution in the country to participate in this awards program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars.
In addition to their athletic ability, Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars must exhibit academic excellence as well as community activism. To be included, students have to compete in an intercollegiate sport; maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2; and be active on their campuses and/or in their communities. This year approximately 600 male and female student-athletes from across the country were nominated.
The 2007 female Ashe Sports Scholar of the Year was DeCarol Davis, a basketball player from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the male Ashe Sports Scholar of the Year was Isaac Matthews, a track and field athlete from UMBC.
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