BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 3 – Diver Ryan Helms and basketball player Glory Johnson have been nominated for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship and track and field athletes Kevin Carney and Chelsea Knotts been nominated for the Brad Davis Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship by University of Tennessee.
The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented by the Southeastern Conference since 1986 to the league’s top male and female scholar-athletes.
The SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship was named for former Associate Commissioner Brad Davis. Davis succumbed to cancer on March 2, 2006. He had been a member of the SEC staff since 1988, first serving as an assistant commissioner until 1994 when he was promoted to associate commissioner.
The Southeastern Conference will name the 2012 recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship on April 6 in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day. The Davis Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship winners will be announced on April 5.
Highlights of the Volunteers’ nominees include:
Ryan Helms, Swimming & Diving (Male McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Nominee)
• Will earn a B.S. degree in Education in August 2012
• Four-time UT Thornton Center Honor Roll and named to Fall 2011 Thornton Center Highest GPA List
• Earned College Swimming Coaches Association of America Academic All-America status
• Named twice to SEC Academic Honor Roll
• 2012 Olympic Trials and Canada Cup Grand Prix qualifier
• Earned honorable mention All-America honors at 2011 NCAA Championships in the 1-meter and platform dives
• Placed second at the 2011 SEC Championships in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives after finishing third in same events at 2010 SEC Championships
• Named SEC Freshman Diver of the Year, 2008-09
• Active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving as a mentor, leading Bible Studies and planning meetings
• Participated in the SEC’s “Together We Can” food drive and worked at food bank in his hometown
• The Jefferson, Ga. native is the son of Michael and Tina Helms
Glory Johnson, Basketball (Female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Nominee)
• Earned B.A. degree (cum laude) in Interdisciplinary Studies in May 2011, graduating in just three years, and currently in Master’s program
• Named to Vol Scholar Honor Roll, Dean’s List and SEC Academic Honor Roll
• Is just the fourth player in UT Lady Vol history to post 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in career
• Has been named SEC Player of the Week six times in her career
• Played on the gold-medal winning USA team at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China
• Two-time first-team All-SEC, SEC All-Defensive Team and Women’s Basketball Coaches Assocaition All-Region 3 Team performer
• Member of 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America Team
• 2011-12 SEC Defensive Player of the Year
• Two-time member of the SEC Women’s Basketball Community Service Team
• Two-time member of the SEC All-Tournament Team and named MVP of the 2012 SEC Tournament
• Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Hoops for Hope and UT Athletics Donor Thank-a-Thon
• Visited with cancer patients at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and read to children at various Knox County Schools
• The Knoxville, Tenn. native is the daughter of Mercy Bassey Johnson and Bassey Johnson Udofot.
Kevin Carney, Track and Field (Male Davis Community Service Nominee)
• Will earn a B.S. degree in Logistics in May 2012
• Three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and VolScholar Honor Roll
• Recipient of the 2011 Team Vol Spirit Award
• Served as volunteer coach for Precision Track Club, coaching children in multiple events
• Volunteered for “Race for the Cure,” assisting meet organizers
• Helped to build homes as part of Habitat for Humanity
• Participated in Red Cross disaster relief in April 2011, helping people who were displaced by storms in Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri
• Has visited local children’s schools and sports teams to talk about sports and the transition from high school to college
• Assisted in the planning and execution of “Soles4Shoes,” a campus-wide shoe drive
• Member of UT’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and UT Athletics Board
• The Brentwood, Tenn. native is the son of Dave and Pam Carney
Chelsea Knotts, Track & Field (Female Davis Community Service Nominee)
• Will earn a B.S. degree in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology in May 2012
• Came to UT in the inaugural 15-member class of Haslam Scholars, a premier honors program aimed at attracting the nation's top students to campus.
• Member of SEC Academic Honor Roll and VolScholar Honor Roll
• Two-time recipient of Lady Volunteer Academic Achievement Award
• National Merit Scholar and recipient of Chancellor’s Honors Scholarship
• Active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, projects including collecting toys for children
• Participated in SEC’s “Together We Can” food drive
• Active in West Virginia’s Special Olympics
• Directed and organized “Running with Hope 5K” to raise funds for Redeeming Hope Ministries
• Created a homeless running group through Redeeming Hope Ministries to foster community, commitment and goal setting
• Member of UT’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and organized a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless
• Has also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity
• The Ripley, W.Va. native is the daughter of Steve and Melinda Knotts
The SEC Office will be releasing each of its institution’s nominees periodically until the April 6 winners are announced. The schedule is as follows:
Alabama – McWhorter: Kyle Weeks, swimming & diving; Brooke Pancake, golf; Davis: Nate Corder, track & field / cross country; Leigh Gilmore, track & field / cross country
Arkansas – McWhorter: Ben Skidmore, track & field; Courtney O’Grady, swimming & diving; Davis: Matt Walters, Tennis; Kelli Stipanovich, Volleyball
Auburn – McWhorter: Cory Luckie, baseball; Katy Frierson, soccer; Davis: John Stembridge, golf; Laura Lane, gymnastics
Florida – McWhorter: Greg Larson, Baseball; Teresa Crippen, Swimming & Diving; Davis: Brian Howell, Swimming & Diving; Joanna Mather, Tennis
Georgia – McWhorter: J.P. Hackney, Track & Field; Wendy Trott, Swimming & Diving; Davis: Aron White, Football; Kathleen Gates, Volleyball
Kentucky – McWhorter: Stuart Hines, Football; Rachel Riley, Softball; Davis: Jake Lewellen, Football; Ann Armes, Volleyball
LSU – McWhorter: Matthew Vieke, Swimming & Diving; Brittany Mack, Softball; Cullen Doody, Track & Field / Cross Country; Ashley Applegate, Softball
Ole Miss – McWhorter: Marcel Thiemann, Tennis; Gabriela Rangel, Tennis; Davis: Devin Thomas, Football; Amanda Hutcheson, Softball
Miss. State – McWhorter: Louis Cant, Tennis; Kim Pettit, Soccer; Davis: Caleb Reed, Baseball; Misty Flesher, Softball
South Carolina – McWhorter: Michael Roth, Baseball; Katie Burnett, Golf; Davis: Chris Campbell, Track and Field; Courtney Newton, Basketball
Tennessee – McWhorter: Ryan Helms, Swimming & Diving; Glory Johnson, Basketball; Davis: Kevin Carney, Track & Field; Chelsea Knotts, Track & Field
Vanderbilt – April 4
National Student-Athlete Day was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and presented by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
National Student-Athlete Day is held each April 6 to celebrate outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to the community. It is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for young people to find the balance between academics and athletics.
Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion sponsor, provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $7,500 post-graduate scholarship. The Davis Award recipients each receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by the SEC. The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship.
The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 12 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin, Fla. on May 31.
Last year’s McWhorter Award recipients were Dan Mazzaferro and Erica Meissner, both members of the Auburn swimming & diving teams. The Davis Award recipients were Ole Miss track & field athlete Barnabus Kirui and Georgia track & field athlete Bridget Lyons.