The award is presented annually to an NCAA Division I male and female senior basketball player who excel both on and off the court.
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 can bring.
Sponsored by Lowe's, the award has already reached its sixth year. Finalists will be selected based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete. These areas of excellence are identified under the categories of classroom, character and community, as well as the candidate's performance and team loyalty on the court.
The greater emphasis on the off-court achievements of the candidate reflects Lowe's commitment to helping young people build successful careers and encouraging students to use their skills to make an impact in life.
The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award will also be expanding in the 2006-07 school year to include additional NCAA men's and women's sports. Lowe's will announce the specific sports later this month.
"At Lowe's, we take pride in acknowledging hard work and outstanding accomplishments both on and off the court," said Bob Gfeller, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing and advertising. "That commitment extends beyond our employees and customers and into the communities we serve where these student-athletes become real-life mentors. We're thrilled to honor each candidate's contributions and look forward to recognizing the award recipients later this year."
This year's list of 30 male and female candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for basketball includes representatives from 29 schools and 15 conferences for men, while the women encompass 27 schools and 13 conferences. On the men's side, the Atlantic Coast Conference landed seven players on the list including two candidates from Virginia Tech. On the women's side, the Southeastern Conference placed seven athletes on the list including a duo from Vanderbilt. The North Carolina and Duke women's programs also have double candidates.
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 February as the conference basketball season hits its peak.
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. Winners will be announced during the men's and women's respective Final Four weekends.
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 star 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.
Previous winners of the men's award include Juan Dixon of Maryland (2002), David West of Xavier (2003), Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph's (2004), Wayne Simien of Kansas (2005) and J.J. Reddick of Duke (2006).
Mejia Nominated for 2007 Senior CLASS Award
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