The $2,000 scholarship is presented anually to a collegiate women's basketball player who plans to pursue graduate work and a career in sports communication or journalism. Previous recipients are St. Bonaventure's Shannon O'Connell (2001) and Oklahoma's Stacey Dales (2002).
"It's such an honor to win this scholarship," Thomas said. "Robin Roberts is a great role model for any woman trying to pursue a career in journalism, and to win an award with her name on it is really special." Thomas will receive the award at the Jostens-Berenson Awards Luncheon on April 5 at the Georgia World Congress Center. The luncheon is held in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four.
Thomas, a 6-1 forward from Lathrup Village, Mich., has started all 29 games for the Tar Heels this season and is the only UNC player to have been in for every tipoff. Eleventh-ranked North Carolina is 25-4 on the season heading into this weekend's Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, in which the Tar Heels are the No. 2 seed after finishing conference play 13-3.
A second-year team captain, Thomas is averaging 5.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Following the 2002 season, she was the recipient of the Athletic Director's Scholar-Athlete Award and the team's Most Improved award.
On campus, Thomas is active as a member of the Student-Athlete Council and the Black Student Movement, and serves as an ACT mentor, helping freshman student-athletes adjust to college life. She is working toward a double major in journalism and African-American studies and plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism after graduating in December.
"Jennifer is an outstanding student-athlete and is very deserving of the Robin Roberts/WBCA Sports Communication Scholarshop," said Beth Bass, chief executive officer of the WBCA. "On behalf of the WBCA membership, I want to congratulate Jennifer and wish her the best in the future."