May 4, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern University junior baseball student-athlete Kenneth Avila has been named one of 10 male finalists for the 2009 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award. Established in 1992 by the publication Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, the Sports Scholars Awards honor undergraduate students 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. In addition to their athletic ability, students named 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 or in their communities. This year approximately 600 male and female student-athletes from across the country were nominated.
A year ago, Avila was one of 10 baseball players nationally to earn the award and this year he is one of 10 finalists for the overall top honor. An Academic All-Big Ten recipient last season, Avila is a double major in economic and legal studies.
Last year's male and female winners were Hampton University's Marcus Dixon and University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign's Momei Qu.
Kenneth Avila - Baseball - Northwestern University
Sam Bradford - Football - University of Oklahoma
Peter Ferrara - Wrestling - University of Virginia
Rickie Fowler - Golf - Oklahoma State University
Damion James - Basketball - University of Texas at Austin
Jamaal Parker - Track & Field - University of Georgia
Rashad James - Tennis - University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Brian Robiskie - Football - Ohio State University
Masumi Turnbull - Soccer - University of Kentucky
Eric Wang - Swimming - New York University
Shardea Croes - Softball - Slippery Rock University
Lamarra Currie - Track & Field - University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Diane Gu - Swimming - Rice University
Mariko Strickland - Soccer - California State University Long Beach
Azahara Munoz - Golf - Arizona State University
Marcia Newby - Gymnastics - University of Georgia
Yolanda Odenyo - Soccer - Oklahoma State University
Ashley Paris - Basketball - University of Oklahoma
Angela Porshe - Volleyball - Valparaiso University
Destiny Williams - Tennis - North Carolina A&T State University