Feb. 3, 2010

NCAA Release

Twenty NCAA® men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court were tabbed as finalists today for the 2009-10 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the two basketball divisions. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School™, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men’s candidates and 30 women’s candidates who were announced in October.

Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the winner. Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winners during the 2010 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours in early April.

The 2009-10 men’s finalists are: Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga University; Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia University; Marquis Hall, Lehigh University; Luke Harangody, University of Notre Dame; Damion James, University of Texas at Austin; Adam Koch, Northern Iowa University; Chris Kramer, Purdue University; Raymar Morgan, Michigan State University; Jon Scheyer, Duke University; and Josh Young, Drake University.

The women’s finalists for 2009-10 are: Jayne Appel, Stanford University; Amy Beggin, University of New Mexico; Joy Cheek, Duke University; Alysha Clark, Middle Tennessee State University; Tyra Grant, Pennsylvania State University; Kelsey Griffin, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Allison Hightower, Louisiana State University; Ashley Houts, University of Georgia; Ashley Sweat, Kansas State University; and Bianca Thomas, University of Mississippi.

These 20 names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award basketball ballot for a nationwide vote beginning today and concluding March 22. Fan balloting will be available on the award’s official Web site, http://www.seniorCLASSaward.com, as well as through text messaging. Fans can text MBBALL to 74567 to vote for men’s finalists and WBBALL to 74567 to vote for women’s finalists. These votes will be combined with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.

“Like all student-athletes, basketball players have many demands on their time,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “These finalists have made it a priority to use some of their spare time to improve their communities through various service projects. Lowe’s puts a premium on community service and values the contributions these young people make each day."

This marks the ninth year for the basketball division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Previous winners of the men’s basketball award include Juan Dixon of Maryland (2002), David West of Xavier (2003), Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph’s (2004), Wayne Simien of Kansas (2005), J.J. Redick of Duke (2006), Alando Tucker of Wisconsin (2007), Shan Foster of Vanderbilt (2008) and Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina (2009). Past 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), Alison Bales of Duke (2007), Candice Wiggins of Stanford (2008) and Courtney Paris of Oklahoma (2009).


An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School™, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition.  The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards that a senior season can bring. Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. The award program has expanded the past two years to include a total of nine NCAA® Division I sports – football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball and softball in addition to men’s and women’s basketball. The award is sponsored by Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA®, and managed by Premier Sports Management.  For more information, visit www.seniorCLASSaward.com.

With fiscal year 2008 sales of $48.2 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week at more than 1,675 home improvement stores in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.