Elliott, Mahoney Named CLASS Award Candidates
Senior center Sarah Elliott (McKee, Ky.) and senior guard Samantha Mahoney (Detroit) have been selected as candidates for the 2007-08 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, given to the nation’s top 30 senior male and female college basketball players who exemplify a total student-athlete.
The award – presented annually to the NCAA Division I Student- Athlete of the Year in eight sports – focuses on the “Four C’s” of classroom, character, community and competition. Lowe’s, an official corporate partner of the NCAA will award the winners with trophies during the respective men’s and women’s NCAA Final Four weekends.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season and complete college education brings.
Elliott and Mahoney have both excelled on and off the court in their four seasons at Kentucky. Elliott, a 6-6 center, is No. 13 on UK’s all-time scoring list with 1,262 points and is set to break the school record for blocks in a career this season. She currently averages 12.6 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game. Despite battling Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) since the third grade, Elliott was named to the UK Dean’s List in the spring of 2007 and is set to graduate this December with a degree in family and consumer science. She also is an active member of UK’s “Cats That Care” community service program. Elliott has served as a guest visitor at local hospitals, helped organize a food drive to benefit God’s Pantry and periodically donates her own hair to Locks of Love. This summer, she traveled to Colorado for the Athletes in Action prison outreach visit.
Mahoney ranks No. 12 on the all-time scoring list with 1,291 points. She is UK’s leading scorer, averaging an impressive 17.3 points per game, a mark that ranks fourth in the SEC. She has been an All-SEC selection each of the past two seasons after being an SEC All-Freshman selection in 2004-05. Academically, Mahoney is a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll (2006 and 2007) honoree and is on track to graduate in May with a double-major in finance and business accounting. In her spare time, she also is a member of the “Cats That Care” program. She has volunteered as a guest visitor at the Veteran’s Hospital, helped organize a food drive to benefit God’s Pantry and served as a mentor at Deep Springs Elementary. She also currently serves as UK Hoops’ outreach representative.
Now in its seventh year for basketball, the award has developed into the nation’s premier tribute for college seniors. Since originating with basketball, Lowe’s has expanded the award to include a total of eight NCAA sports.
Elliott and Mahoney were listed among the basketball candidates which includes a broad spectrum of universities and conferences across the country. On the women’s side, 29 schools are represented with Kentucky boasting the only tandem set of candidates. While 16 conferences are included among the list of nominees, the Southeastern Conference landed five female candidates followed closely by the Missouri Valley Conference with four.
From the list of 30 nominees for each gender, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in January 2008. Those ten names will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote during the NCAA Tournament in March. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the male and female recipients.
The award was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman. It was inspired by the remarkable story of former Duke University basketball player Shane Battier, who could have been an NBA lottery pick but returned to college for his senior season and led the Blue Devils to the National Championship in 2001.
Recipients of the women’s award include Sue Bird of Connecticut (2002), LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State (2003), Alana Beard of Duke (2004), Kendra Wecker of Kansas State (2005), Seimone Augustus of LSU (2006) and Alison Bales of Duke (2007).
ABOUT THE AWARD
Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award 2007-08 Women’s Candidates
Name Height Class Pos. School Conference Nkolika Anosike 6'4" Sr. F/C Tennessee SEC Tahnee Balerio 5'6" Sr. G Missouri State Missouri Valley Essence Carson 6'0" Sr. F Rutgers Big East Meagan Cowher 6'1" Sr. F Princeton Ivy Julie DeMuth 5'10" Sr. F Ball State Mid-American Sarah Elliott 6'6" Sr. C Kentucky SEC Cara Enright 5'10" Sr. G US Military Academy Patriot Allyson Fasnacht 5'8" Sr. G Liberty Big South Emily Florence 5'5" Sr. G Washington Pac 10 Hope Foster 6'2" Sr. F Bucknell Patriot Sylvia Fowles 6'6" Sr. C Louisiana State SEC A'Quonesia Franklin 5'3" Sr. G Texas A&M Big 12 Carlene Hightower 5'11" Sr. F La Salle Atlantic 10 Tasha Humphrey 6'3" Sr. F Georgia SEC Tyeisha Jackson 5'10" Sr. G Houston Conference USA Kyra Kaylor 6'0" Sr. F William & Mary Colonial Crystal Langhorne 6'2" Sr. C/F Maryland ACC Sarah Jo Lawrence 5'11" Sr. G George Washington Atlantic 10 Karlyle Lim 5'6" Sr. G Pittsburgh Big East Samantha Mahoney 5'10" Sr. G Kentucky SEC Jackie McFarland 6'3" Sr. F Colorado Big 12 Rebekah Parker 5'10" Sr. G/F Evansville Missouri Valley Lindsey Pluimer 6'4" Sr. F UCLA Pac 10 Laura Rodophi 6'2" Sr. C Indiana State Missouri Valley Sydney Scott 6'0" Sr. F Dartmouth Ivy Andrea Sitton 6'3" Sr. F Nevada WAC Sara Stutz 6'0" Sr. G/F Northwestern Big 10 Kristi Veltkamp 6'3" Sr. F/C Maryland Eastern Shore MEAC Lindsey Whorton 6'0" Sr. G Drake Missouri Valley Candace Wiggins 5'11" Sr. G Stanford Pac 10