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Iman Kennedy Selected as National Finalist for Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award
FAIRFAX, Va.—UMBC volleyball standout Iman (pronounced I-min) Kennedy (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) has been selected as one of ten female national finalists for the 2012 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award.
Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine announced the Top 10 male and female finalists for the award. The winners will be profiled in its May 24, 2012 edition. The finalists were chosen from over 600 outstanding minority student-athletes nominated by their respective institutions. The NCAA is the co-sponsor of this annual award.
Kennedy was cited by the magazine as a Sports Scholar in the sport of volleyball in 2010-11, but was not a finalist for the top honor.
The four-year letterwinner was named to the six-member America East Conference All-Academic squad in both 2010 and 2011.
Kennedy has maintained a 3.90 grade-point average while working towards a degree in psychology and earning a minor in Modern Languages and Linguistics. She has been named to the President’s List three times for earning a 4.0 GPA during a semester and to the Dean’s List in each semester at UMBC.
On the court in 2011, Kennedy led UMBC in blocks per set (0.92) and was second on the team in hitting percentage (.287) and kills (188). She was named an Honorable Mention on COBRA Magazine’s All-East Region Team after the season.
For her career, the 6’3” Kennedy now ranks second in school history with 276 block assists, and fourth at UMBC with 306 total blocks.
She also earned a letter in women’s basketball at UMBC, competing in both sports as a freshman in 2008-09.
After graduation, Kennedy plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Dentistry, where she has earned a scholarship.
A number of UMBC student-athletes have graced the pages of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, earning recognition for their respective sports. Track and field athlete Isaac Matthews was been named the male 2007 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year and Jessica Young was one of three finalists for the women’s top honor in 2008.
In 1992, Black Issues In Higher Education magazine, now Diverse, established the Sports Scholars Awards to honor undergraduate students of color who exemplify the standards set by tennis great Arthur Ashe Jr.
A scholar and athlete, Ashe sought to expand opportunities for young people. Each year Diverse: Issues In Higher Education invites every postsecondary institution in the country to participate in this awards program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. In addition to their athletic ability, students named Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars must exhibit academic excellence as well as community activism.
To be included, students have to compete in an intercollegiate sport; maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2; and be active on their campuses or in their communities. This year the NCAA partnered with Diverse to present this standout class of scholar athletes and approximately 600 male and female students from across the country were nominated.
Past recipients of the award include: Baylor University’s (2011) Robert Griffin III, Heisman Trophy winner; the University of Tennessee’s (2003) Kara Lawson, ESPN analyst who played for the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs; San Diego State University’s (1993) Marshall Faulk, NFL Hall of Famer; and the University of Kansas’ (1996) Jaque Vaughn, assistant coach for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.