Griffin Wins NU's First Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Lincoln - Kelsey Griffin made history on Saturday, as the All-America women's basketball player was chosen Nebraska's first-ever Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner across all sports.
Griffin, a 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, was chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I women's coaches, national basketball media and fans. The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award is presented annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I women's basketball. The announcement and trophy presentation were made by Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, during Saturday's open practice day at the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four in San Antonio.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in SchoolTM, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete, with criteria including community service, excellence in the classroom, outstanding character and competition on the court.
"It is an honor to be named the winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. I know some people might see this as an individual award, but I think this award represents all the great people who have had major influences on my life, especially my family, friends, teachers, coaches and teammates growing up, and especially Coach Yori and my teammates here at Nebraska," Griffin said. "I feel blessed that I have been able to take the lessons I have learned on and off the court and apply them to my life, while maybe also having an impact on the lives of others. I'd like to thank Lowe's for sponsoring this prestigious award, and I'd like to thank all of the fans around the country who showed their support by voting for me."
Griffin has overcome injuries and an illness in her family during her career at Nebraska, but she never let those challenges stop her from contributing to the athletics department and the Lincoln community. She represented the women's basketball team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was named to the Big 12 Good Works team. She has been part of Nebraska's School is Cool Jam, which reaches out to thousands of middle school students in the community and she volunteers on a regular basis at a local elementary school.
"Kelsey is the best player I have ever coached, but even more importantly, she is a great person," head coach Connie Yori said. "Kelsey understands that there is more to life than basketball. She is an outstanding student and she has spent countless hours giving back to the community. She has also set the tone as the leader of our team this year. Kelsey is truly deserving of this prestigious award."
Griffin's team finished the season with a 32-2 record and advanced to the regional semifinals of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. Griffin averaged 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, leading the Huskers to the Big 12 Conference regular-season championship, going undefeated in the process. She was the conference player of the year and is a first-team all-American.
"Kelsey has fought through obstacles her entire college career and has always managed to come back stronger as a person and a player. Her determination on the court matches her commitment to her adopted community of Lincoln," said Tom Lamb, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing. "She has taken advantage of her opportunities as an athlete to make a difference to people in the community, and we congratulate her on a successful senior year."
2009-10 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Winner (Women's Basketball)
|Kelsey Griffin||Forward||University of Nebraska|
|Jayne Appel||Center||Stanford University|
|Alysha Clark||Forward||Middle Tennessee State|
|Ashley Houts||Guard||University of Georgia|
|Ashley Sweat||Forward||Kansas State University|
|Amy Beggin||Guard||University of New Mexico|
|Joy Cheek||Forward/Guard||Duke University|
|Tyra Grant||Guard||Penn State University|
|Allison Hightower||Guard||Louisiana State University|
|Bianca Thomas||Guard||University of Mississippi|