TEMPE, Ariz.— The Scholar Baller® program, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), announced the recipients of the 2013 Academic Momentum Award, which recognizes 40 student-athletes for academic improvement, including five from Arizona State University.
“Sun Devil Athletics is extremely proud to have five student-athletes recognized as winners of the national Academic Momentum Award presented by Scholar Baller® and NCAS,” Senior Associate Athletic Director of Student Athlete Development Jean Boyd said. “This award recognizes student-athletes who have overcome challenges in their lives to continue on a pathway towards growth and achievement while at ASU and in their future.”
Football’s Marion Grice and gymnastics’ Morgan Steigerwalt were selected to the first team, while Devin Marshall of women’s soccer was ASU’s lone second team honoree. Women’s basketball’s Promise Amukamara and diving’s Riley McCormick picked up third team honors.
“The student-athletes have embodied the principle of the Sun Devil Athletics Way, "Sun Devils are Relentless" and have refused to allow for their background, or challenging events in their lives to hinder their academic and life development,” Boyd said. “The award is open to the over 1,000 members of the NCAA, and to have five of the total 40 recipients, and two of the 10 first-teamers be Sun Devils speaks to the character of our student-athletes in general and these young men and women in particular.”
Top nominations were categorized into three teams based on each student-athlete’s academic improvement and the impact each student-athlete’s academic performance had on his or her classmates, teammates, academic advisors, and professors. A total of 10 male and female award recipients from NCAS partner schools were selected for the Academic Momentum Award First Team, 15 recipients were chosen for the Academic Momentum Award Second Team, and 15 recipients were selected for the Academic Momentum Award Third Team.
Arizona State Academic Momentum Award Recipients:
Marion Grice, Football, Interdisciplinary Studies, Football
Morgan Steigerwalt, Exploratory, Gymnastics
Devin Marshall, Family and Human Development, Women’s Soccer
Promise Amukamara, Communications, Women’s Basketball
Riley McCormick, Family Studies, Diving
Award nominations included stories of: overcoming diversity and persevering through academic and athletic adversity, improving grade point averages through determination and intrinsic motivation, implementing programs aimed at ending violence within local communities, actively participating in community service events including Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity, helping children become educated about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and dealing with financial and family related difficulties.
The NCAS is an ever-growing organization of colleges and universities that provides opportunities for current and former student-athletes to continue their pursuit of higher education, while working in the community with children to address social issues. Established in 1985, the overall mission of the NCAS is “to create a better society by focusing on education attainment and using the power appeal of sport to positively affect social change.”
Established in 1995, the Scholar Baller ® movement evolved in response to concerns that the student-athlete’s athletics role increasingly superseded the student role. In order to address this issue, the founding members of Scholar Baller developed a groundbreaking program to bridge the gap between education and sport utilizing student-athletes’ passion for entertainment and athletics. As a result, the Scholar Baller program has produced unprecedented outcomes in student retention and academic achievement.
Each award recipient will receive an official Academic Momentum Award certificate. In addition, all nominees will receive a ThinkMan® or ThinkWoman® decal/sticker.