By LARRY VAUGHT
The Senior CLASS Award recognizes the nation’s most outstanding seniors in Division I sports. In addition to the core requirement that the candidate be an NCAA Division I senior, the finalists and eventual are selected based on personal characteristics that define a complete student-athlete. These include involvement in the community and excellence of character, as well as achievements in the classroom and in competition.
There’s one nominee you might recognize. He’s on track to graduate in May and is a three-time all-academic team selection in his conference. He’s been an academic All-American.
He’s the only captain on his team this season and is well known for his strong faith in the Grace Lutheran Church.
“College is supposed to be about learning, and about maturing. In his career, he played a critical role in winning a national championship as a freshman, and also has endured low points and public scrutiny like few others in the history of our sport,” his coach said.
“He wanted to be the leader of this basketball team. He wanted to show he had learned his lessons; had matured and was able to lead in the way in which captains are expected. He wants to win another national championship.
“He cares deeply about his family, his teammates, children and his faith. He has a passion and a fire to get better every day – in all aspects of his life. He has learned from previous mistakes. I watched him grow to be a better teammate and leader. He’s truly the epitome of this Senior CLASS Award. He’s faced his challenges, and hasn’t run from them.”
He’s volunteered at a children’s hospital and has helped encourage elementary students to read. He’s volunteered at youth basketball clinics.
So who is this terrific student-athlete with so many endearing qualities?
You won’t guess because it’s Grayson Allen of Duke. Yes, that Grayson Allen who has tripped opponents and infuriated fans and opponents with his demeanor on the court.
Maybe he’s everything Duke coaches say he is. But forgive me, I just can’t buy. Not based off what I have seen. Maybe I’m wrong about him. But maybe I am not.
What do you think? Would you vote for Allen to win this award?