Kansas center Jeff Withey has been selected as one of 30 men’s candidates for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate basketball, award organizers announced Wednesday.
Sixty NCAA men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court were selected as candidates. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates is below.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the 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.
On schedule to graduate with a degree in American studies, Withey is a preseason Associated Press All-America honorable mention selection who is coming off a sensational junior season where he set the Big 12 and Kansas single-season blocked shots record with 140. Included was an NCAA Tournament record 31 blocked shots for the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Withey, from San Diego, Calif., participates in many community functions including KU’s READ program, which encourages youth to read. He takes time to sign autographs following every home contest to the approximately 70-100 fans outside KU’s locker and participates in KU’s annual Wilt Chamberlain Special Olympic Clinic in late January. He and his teammates autograph approximately 1,500 basketball every year with proceeds from the sales going to local charities. Withey also participates Kansas men’s basketball annual shopping for needy families during the holiday season and has also visited elementary schools in Lawrence promoting good health.
Historically, Kansas has been well represented in the Senior CLASS Award. In 2005, Jayhawk Wayne Simien won the award which began in 2001. Other Kansas players named to the Senior CLASS Award First Team, which consists of five players, include Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich in 2003 and Tyrel Reed in 2011.
The men’s Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Final Four in Atlanta April 6 and 8, while the women’s winner will be announced during the NCAA Women’s Final Four in New Orleans April 7 and 9.
The candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 men’s and 10 women’s finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one men’s finalist and one women’s finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com
ABOUT THE AWARD
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring. Premier Sports Management manages the award.