Feb. 1, 2013
Orlando, Fla. - Two University of Connecticut student-athletes have been honored as recipients of the National Academic Momentum Award as announced by the Scholar Baller program, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) on January 29. Eighty-nine nominations were received from 30 different colleges and universities across the country. UConn football student-athlete Ty-Meer Brown (sociology) was named to the first team and Husky lacrosse student-athlete Kaitlyn Aldrich (psychology) was honored as a second team selection.
The nominations were divided into three teams based on the level of academic improvement and the impact of that academic momentum on each nominee and his or her peers. A total of 28 male and female award recipients from the NCAS schools were chosen for team one, 17 recipients were chosen for team two and 19 recipients for the third team.
Brown, a safety, played in all 24 of the Huskies' games over the last two years, totaling 94 tackles and four interceptions. Aldrich, a defender, played in six games during the 2012 season.
This year's nominations included stories of overcoming past academic failures; transferring schools in the middle of a season; leaving his or her hometown and still exemplifying leadership while inspiring peers and teammates to do the same; overcoming the adversity of being injured and channeling their energy into academics; being an international student who had to persevere through hardships both academically and culturally; and participating in local community service initiatives.
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 educational 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the Scholar Baller movement evolved in response to concerns that the student-athlete's athletics role increasingly superseded the student role.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 a recognition certificate; the second and first team will also receive a authentic Scholar Baller medal. All nominees who made the first team will also receive a ThinkMan/ThinkWoman trophy. All nominees are individually and collectively a testament to the "student" in "student-athlete.