Nashville, Tenn. - Eight Tennessee State University athletes were honored in this week's edition of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine as Arthur Ashe Sports Scholars.
All eight earned a spot on the scholar's roster for his or her respective sport. Senior Jeremy Perry was named a finalist for the Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar award after boasting a 4.0 GPA as a graduate student in the Human Performance and Sports Science's department.
"It is rewarding to have eight Tennessee State University student-athletes honored with one of the most prestigious awards in collegiate athletics," said TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. "These fine young men and women exemplify the balance of great athletic skill with strong academics. We are very proud of their accomplishments and are appreciative that their successes are being acknowledged through this national honor."
Perry played in 21 games for the Tigers after transferring from Middle Tennessee. The Memphis native threw approximately 2,313 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career. Beyond the field, Perry served as the President of the TSU chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He participated in reading books to young children at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.
Junior cross country and track & field athlete Jonathan Owens held a 3.273 GPA through the fall semester. Owens, a Mass Communications major, is participating in a media relations internship with the Tennessee Titans this fall.
Also from the track, Tigerbelle thrower Cierra Joshua claimed a 3.625 GPA in Health Sciences. The sophomore set personal records in the discus (30.80-meters) and javelin (29.43m) during the outdoor campaign. The Detroit, Mich., native threw the weight throw 12.84-meters at the OVC Indoor Championships for a personal best.
Lawrence Washington, TSU's first ever All-OVC selection, earned designation on the Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar's tennis roster with a 3.725 grade point average. Washington finished his senior campaign with a 7-4 record and an overall mark of 20-18. The Canton, Mich., native plans to attend Georgetown University for graduate school in the fall.
Basketball iron man Wil Peters garnered recognition after posting a 3.667 graduate GPA in the HPSS department. Peters earned his bachelor's degree last fall and logged over 3,500 minutes during his playing career at TSU. Peters ranks 10th all-time with 128 made three-pointers.
Also from the hardwood, sophomore Patrick Miller garnered accolades on the Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar team with his 3.491 GPA in Business. Miller, boasted 10.8 points and a team-best 118 assists in 33 games played. Miller was selected to the OVC All-Tournament team earlier this year.
Senior Lady Tiger Kimberley Haynes garnered scholar honors after posting a 3.404 GPA in HPSS. She was the fourth leading scorer on the team and ranked 15th in the OVC in three-point field goals made. She also drained 35 triples in 2011-12.
Chelsea Hudson, a freshman on the women's basketball team, tallied a 3.607 GPA through the fall semester. The Midland, Texas native averaged a team-best 5.0 rebounds per game. She ranked third on the team with a 43.6 field goal percentage. Last season, Hudson garnered two OVC Freshman of the Week Honors (Jan. 31 & Feb. 21).
"I am so proud of all of our student-athletes on such prestigious academic honor," said Dr. Johnnie Smith, Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Services. "The most amazing aspect is that our student-athletes balance hectic and demanding schedules and still able to achieve academic excellence in the classroom. The athletic department salutes each of them and thanks them for being a great example of the Tennessee State University's motto."
These eight student-athletes were chosen out of 600 nominees. 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 are active on their campuses or in their communities. This year the NCAA partnered with Diverse to present this standout class of scholar athletes.