Diverse | Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars 2011
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- Russell Wilson
by Marlon A. Walker

After most practices during Colorado Rockies spring training, Russell Wilson can be spotted putting in extra practice time to smooth any rough edges in his game.
Even after a good day on the dirt, Wilson says he is never satisfied.

"I don't want to be common," says the 22-year-old. "I want to be special. I work every day on my dream of being a hall-of-famer one day."

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- Shanice Howard
by Lois Elfman

The once-familiar perfect score of 10 all but disappeared from the gymnastics landscape several years ago, but the academic ideal of 4.0 still exists, and this year’s Arthur Ashe Jr. Female Sports Scholar of the Year, gymnast Shanice Howard of San Jose State University, has come very close to achieving it.

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  • Kenneth Argila
    Kenneth Avila

    Kenneth Avila, a senior economics and legal studies major, led Northwestern University (Ill.) with a .298 batting average in 2009 while splitting time between center field and designated hitter. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native also earned a 2009 Academic All-Big Ten selection and helped raise $10,000 for a New York elementary school through the help of J.P Morgan. He holds a 3.47 cumulative GPA.

  • Kenan Wang

    Kenan Wang, of the U.S. Naval Academy, earned 2010 First-Team All-MAC honors for air rifle and Second-Team All-MAC honors for smallbore. He holds a 3.68 GPA in electrical engineering and was named a 2010 College Rifle Coaches Association Academic All-American. He has received a prestigious Naval Academy Bowman Scholarship, which provides early entry into the Navy's nuclear power training program.
    Wang is a professional artist and has accepted an apprenticeship in his native China.

  • Kofi Sarkodie

    Kofi Sarkodie guided the University of Akron Zips' soccer team to the 2010 NCAA national championship, scoring eight goals, including five game-winners, during the season. He was named the Soccer America Player of the Year and made the NSCAA All-America First Team, the Top Drawer Soccer News All-America First Team and was the College Cup's Most Outstanding Defensive Player. The biology major also holds a 3.96 cumulative GPA and was the ESPN Academic All-America of the Year and a CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team member.

  • Arvind Badhey

    Brooklyn College's Arvind Badhey led his team to its first-ever men's cross-country CUNY championship in 2008 and is a member of the men's tennis team. He maintains a 3.95 GPA in Brooklyn's combined undergraduate-medical degree program and has been a CUNY Presidential Scholar throughout his collegiate career.

  • Darius Law

    Darius Law, the 2010 Ashe men's winner, continues to perform at a record pace. The UNC-Charlotte senior sprinter won the 200- and 400-meter dashes at the A-10 Outdoor Championships, breaking the meet record in the 400 with a time of 46.25. He was named the A-10 Student Athlete of the Year for the fourth time and is an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America first-teamer and a CoSIDA Academic All-District III member.

  • Jorden Smith

    Jorden Smith, a junior volleyball star at Johnson & Wales, led all men's volleyball players in blocks per game (3.5) in 2010 and was second in total blocks (189). He received the Best Defensive Player award and was an all-conference honorable mention. The criminal justice major holds a 3.68 GPA, is a camp counselor, a volunteer high school coach and volunteers for the Salvation Army during the holidays.


  • Sam Acho

    Sam Acho earned the William V. Campbell Trophy in 2010 as the nation's top football student-athlete. The University of Texas defensive end/defensive tackle also won the 2010 Wuerffel Trophy for his athletic, academic and community accomplishments. Acho is a three-time Ashe award recipient, a three-time academic all-district and three-time Academic All-Big 12 recipient. He recorded 59 tackles as a senior and is 10th all-time at Texas with 23.5 sacks. Acho is expected to be drafted in the third or fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

  • Ryan Bartholomew

    Syracuse offensive lineman Ryan Bartholomew earned All-Big East third-team honors in 2010 and was invited to the East-West Shrine All-Star game. The team captain started all 13 games for the Orangemen's football team and recovered a fumble in the end zone for his first career touchdown. He has been named to the Syracuse Athletic Director's Honor Roll in five semesters and was a 2010 Big East All-Academic team selection. He earned a bachelor's in health and exercise science and is pursuing a master's degree in instructional design, development and evaluation.

  • Terrance Ganaway

    Baylor running back Terrance Ganaway gained 6.4 yards per carry in 2010, the highest average in the country for anyone with 30 or more carries. He scored three touchdowns, two running and one on a kickoff return, while maintaining a 3.79 GPA. Ganaway was named a first-team Academic All-Big 12 member and made the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll and Baylor's Dean's List in 2009 and 2010. He also traveled to Kenya on a mission trip with other Baylor student-athletes. Ganaway graduated in December with a degree in general studies.

  • Robert Griffin, III

    Robert Griffin III, quarterback for the Baylor Bears, won the 2010 Walter Camp Award and was a semifinalist for the Maxwell and O'Brien Awards. He owns or shares 30 Baylor records and is the school's career leader in 14 categories. Griffin is a six-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Role and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 first team. He graduated in three years with a degree in political science.

  • Grace Murray

    Senior Grace Murray is a member of the UCLA Bruins' national champion softball team, chipping in 27 runs, including five in the postseason. The psychology major is a nine-time member of the UCLA Director's Honor Roll. She also is active in the "I'm Going to College" program, is an assistant coach for a 14-and-under softball team and volunteers at Mattel Children's Hospital.

  • Sasha-Kay Matthias

    Texas A&M's Sasha-Kay Matthias recorded career bests in the long jump and triple jump in 2010, winning the college division triple jump at the Penn Relays with a distance of just over 42'5". Matthias also competes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. She holds a 3.72 cumulative GPA while majoring in special education and was named to the All-Academic track and field team. She also made the Dean's List and President's list in 2009.

  • Brittany Tyree

    Ohio University's Brittany Tyree placed 6th in the pentathlon at the MAC Championships, winning the 800-meter run. The communication studies major holds a 3.89 cumulative GPA and is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Tyree volunteers at OU's Women's Center and the Athens Child Advocacy Center.

  • Jamila McKinnis

    Jamila McKinnis won Stillman College's 2009-10 Scholar-Athlete award as her school's best student athlete, male or female. The volleyball star earned three SIAC Player of the Week awards in 2010 and has been a member of the SIAC all-conference team in every year of her collegiate career. McKinnis maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA while studying biology. She also participates on the women's basketball team.

  • Dymond Simon

    Dymond Simon led the Arizona State Sun Devils' women's basketball team in scoring (14.5 per game) and assists (2.7 per game) this past season. She was a Pac-10 All-Tournament selection in 2008 and a second-teamer in 2009. Simon graduated with a 3.89 GPA and is currently working toward a master's degree in liberal studies. She is also a five-time Maroon & Gold Scholar-Athlete and received 2011 Pac-10 All-Academic team honors.

  • Brittany Strachan

    Brittany Strachan became the 10th player in North Carolina State University women's basketball history to notch 100 career three-pointers. The senior computer science major led the ACC in three-point accuracy in 2009, hitting just under 42 percent from behind the arc. She received the Computer Science Department Senior Award for Citizenship and Service in 2011 while maintaining a 3.66 GPA.

  • Sydnee Mack

    Hampton golfer Sydnee Mack averaged a score of 82.1 in 2010 and was named to the All-Tournament team at the Savannah State Invitational in both 2008 and 2010. She was one of 10 golfers to earn a PGA Minority State Farm Scholarship. Mack, a junior who holds a 3.72 cumulative GPA, is majoring in public relations and plans to attend law school after graduation. She is also vice president of Chi Alpha Sigma, a national collegiate athlete honor society and is the director of operations for Tee It Up Golf, Inc.

  • Jadtrl Heard

    Jadtrl Heard started all 15 games for Alcorn State's women's soccer team in 2010. The junior applied science/radiation technology major was named the conference's Freshman of the Year in 2008. She is a SWAC All-Academic team member, a Presidential Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. Heard also volunteers at the Natchez Children's Home and is a radio announcer for two local radio stations.

  • Lucy Quintana

    Baylor soccer player Lucy Quintana has started all but two games in the past two seasons. In 2010, the senior defender highlighted a squad that tied the school record with 11 shutouts. She was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District Team, is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 first-teamer, has been on the Dean's List seven times and made the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll seven times. Quintana holds a 3.95 GPA and is majoring in health sciences.

  • Nailah Young

    Nailah Young led Spelman College's soccer team with 3 assists and was second on the team with 3 goals and 9 total points. She made the Great South Athletic Conference All-Conference team in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and has been part of the conference's All-Academic team since 2008. The economics major holds a 3.65 GPA and is a three-time member of the Dean's List.

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