National Honors

Two standout West Virginia University athletes are in the spotlight again after receiving national awards.

West Virginia University junior shortstop Jedd Gyorko and senior forward Da'Sean Butler both earned national-level honors for their performances recently. Gyorko earned the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year award, presented by Mizuno, at the 2010 College Baseball Awards Shows in Lubbock, Texas, late Friday night, while Butler was tabbed as the basketball winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, which is presented to four-year student-athletes that demonstrate excellence in their sport, in the classroom, and in the community.

WVU coach Greg Van Zant said Gyorko was a player any coach could be proud to have on his team.

"He meant everything to our team," Van Zant said. "Jedd is a terrific player and an even better person. He was highly touted this year and knew he would get a lot of attention, but even with that, he passed more hours in the fall than any player on the team. In the spring, with all that was going on around him, he finished with a 3.7 GPA in management."

Recently, Gyorko was named a first team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and also earned second team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Gyorko finished the 2010 campaign with a .381 batting average, a school-record 19 home runs, 57 RBIs, 28 doubles, 90 base hits, 71 runs scored and 177 total bases.

Butler was named the basketball winner of the CLASS Award on April 3, but that announcement was a bit overshadowed by WVU's trip to the Final Four. He recently commented on the award.

"I am truly honored to receive this prestigious award. This award would not be possible without my teammates. I want to thank my teammates, the staff and our great Mountaineer fans everywhere. I am grateful that I have been a role model to children and have had a positive impact on the community."

Butler was selected as a team captain for his junior and senior seasons. This year, he was chosen by the Big East Conference to participate in a public service announcement regarding sportsmanship with a fellow Big East student-athlete. Also, he performed a similar service when he represented West Virginia University as a tobacco-free Mountaineer for the state-wide campaign. Butler has always been a very vocal leader both on and off the court and during a head coaching change at WVU, helped the team maintain a positive attitude during unsettling times. He was counted on as a leader last year with an extremely young team. Butler is the men's basketball representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and served on the NCAA Steering Committee when WVU was going through the NCAA recertification process.

Butler has been an active leader for community efforts throughout his four years at West Virginia. Annually, he visits local hospitals during the Christmas season and participates in Read Aloud days at area schools. Butler has been a part of the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative at WVU and is always willing to give an autograph or make an appearance for a worthy cause. This has been evident through efforts such as when Butler attended the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, spoke at the WVU scholarship dinner in Charleston, West Virginia, called university supporters at the annual Thank-A-Thon (calling and thanking supporters for their financial contributions to West Virginia University) and was a guest speaker for Camp Choosy at the West Virginia Motor Development Center.

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