POINT CLEAR, Ala. - UTA rising senior Kevin Hervey was honored as the Sun Belt Conference Male Student-Athlete of the Year, while Rebekah VanDijk was named to the league's Leadership Team at its annual spring meetings this week.
Top student-athletes and athletic departments from Sun Belt member institutions were honored at an Honors Reception attended by presidents, faculty representative, athletic directors, senior woman administrators and league officials.
The highest individual honor in the Sun Belt Conference - the Student-Athlete of the Year Award - was given to UTA's Hervey and Louisiana's Aleah Craighton.
Hervey, a junior forward on the Maverick men's basketball team, led UTA to the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Championship while also earning the 2016-17 Sun Belt Men's Basketball Player of the Year award. Hervey also received Honorable Mention honors as an Associated Press All-America and earned all-district honors by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the United States Basketball Writers of America.
Craighton, a junior on the Ragin' Cajun softball team, has been a part of three regular season Sun Belt championship teams and two Sun Belt tournament championship squads - including being named the 2016 Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
One student-athlete was selected from each institution for the Sun Belt Conference Leadership Team. The honor is given to those that exemplify the highest qualities of being a true student-athlete. This year's Leadership Team members are: Scott Webster - Appalachian State, Quin Wilkes - Little Rock, Alexis Philippe - Arkansas State, Nicholas Clark - Coastal Carolina University, Taylor Thompson - Georgia Southern, Jad Elkhalil - Georgia State, Grant Horst - Louisiana, Nicholas Coppola - ULM, Kristian Foster - South Alabama, Rebekah VanDijk - UTA, Kassi Hormuth - Texas State, and John Johnson - Troy.
Appalachian State and Louisiana were awarded with the Institutional Graduation Rate Award as the two institutions tied for the highest student-athlete graduation rate based on the most recent data compiled by the NCAA.
Arkansas State women's basketball player Brittany Fowler and South Alabama thrower Jan-Louw Kotze were named recipients of the Sun Belt's Postgraduate Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards. Both will receive a $6,500 scholarship to be used towards their postgraduate education.
The Sun Belt's all sports award, the Vic Bubas Cup, that is annually given to the institution that has the most combined points based on competition across all sports was unable to be awarded as the results of the upcoming Sun Belt baseball championship could impact the final standings.
The Sun Belt Conference Spring Meeting concludes on Monday.
Institutional Graduation Rate Award
Appalachian State, Louisiana
Student-Athletes of the Year
Aleah Craighton - Louisiana
Kevin Hervey - UTA
Postgraduate Scholar Athletes of the Year
Brittany Fowler - Arkansas State
Jan-Louw Kotze - South Alabama
Sun Belt Conference Leadership Team
Scott Webster - Appalachian State
Quin Wilkes - Little Rock
Alexis Philippe - Arkansas State
Nicholas Clark - Coastal Carolina
Taylor Thompson - Georgia Southern
Jad Elkhalil - Georgia State
Grant Horst - Louisiana
Nicholas Coppola - ULM
Kristian Foster - South Alabama
Rebekah VanDijk - UTA
Kassi Hormuth - Texas State
John Johnson - Troy
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