PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- On Tuesday, three University of Connecticut student-athletes were honored by the American Athletic Conference for outstanding athletic and academic performances throughout the year. Pat Lenehan was named as the 2014-15 Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while volleyball's Amy Christensen and men's swimming and diving's Sawyer Franz were tabbed as 2014-15 American Athletic Conference Institutional Scholar-Athlete Scholarship winners, as announced by the conference's Academic Affairs Committee.
Faculty Athletic Representatives at each American Athletic Conference institution, in consultation with the Director of Athletics and appropriate athletic academic advisors, annually nominate one male and female candidate for an Institutional Scholar-Athlete Scholarship.
All nominees must have maintained both excellent academic credentials (minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00) and outstanding athletic performance; must have competed in an American Athletic Conference-sponsored sport; and must have attained a minimum of senior standing, as determined by the respective institution.
Lenehan, a 6-3 guard, is a former walk-on who earned a UConn scholarship in the 2014-15 campaign. He has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA as a molecular and cell biology major and intends to pursue a medical career with a specialty in cancer research. A Rhodes Scholar finalist, he has already been accepted to medical school at Harvard, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Columbia and UConn.
Lenehan has received some of the highest academic honors UConn can bestow, including the Goldwater Scholarship, the Presidential Scholars Award Scholarship, the UTC Academic Scholarship, and he has been recognized as a Babbidge Scholar. He is the second UConn player to win a conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining two-time Big East Scholar-Athlete winner Emeka Okafor (2002-03, 2003-04).
Christensen is a member of the UConn Honors Program. She was selected as an American Athletic Conference All-Academic team member in 2013-14 and also earned All-Academic team honors from the Big East in 2011-12 and 2012-13. Additionally, she has earned a spot on the Dean's List and Director of Athletics Honor roll in each academic semester during her time at UConn.
A key piece of the Husky rotation, she played in a career-high 30 matches in 2014, compiling 1.6 digs/set and 15 total assists. The defensive specialist appeared in 323 sets during her four-year career, amassing 339 digs and 43 service aces.
"As a staff we are very proud of Amy and her continued accomplishments and recognition," said head coach Kris Grunwald. "In receiving this, as well as other awards this spring, it is gratifying to see her rewarded for her efforts. She has shown an ability to not only balance, but absolutely excel in her academic, athletic, and extra curricular involvements. She has certainly built a solid foundation from which to build an amazing career as an educator of our youth."
Franz finished his UConn swimming career as one of the best team leaders in the program's history. He will conclude his time in Storrs with two school records in addition to several accolades outside of the pool. His first school record came in the 200-yard backstroke, which he completed in 1:45.78 during his sophomore season.
The senior captain's leadership extended outside of the sport of swimming throughout his four seasons in Storrs, as Franz participated in several community outreach events. He currently serves as the president of the UConn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and he is part of the Connecticut Honors Program, which has provided him with a scholarship.