2018-19 Basketball

CIAA and Lowes team up to recognize senior student-athletes


Nineteen CIAA men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court were selected as candidates recently for the Lowe’s CIAA Senior CLASS Award®. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Lowe’s CIAA Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages players to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. 

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.

The Lowe’s CIAA Senior CLASS Award, which focuses on men’s and women’s basketball players from the CIAA, is a division of the national Senior CLASS Award program that recognizes student-athletes in 10 NCAA Division I sports.

CIAA award candidates were nominated by their respective universities. Of those 19 student-athletes, all are in excellent academic standing at their universities with nine holding GPAs of 3.5 or greater, and five were honored with preseason conference honors for outstanding performance on the court. Each of the candidates volunteers his or her time with charitable organizations and causes while upholding a reputation for positive character on campus and in the community.

“The Lowe’s CIAA Senior CLASS Award shows the company’s commitment to the CIAA mission, which is to support and showcase our student-athletes through community, classroom, character and competition,” CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said. “Their involvement on the campuses, culminating at the tournament, helps to recognize and celebrate the overall NCAA Division II student-athlete experience.”

Each of the men’s and women’s candidates will be recognized on-court at a home game during the season. The winners will be determined through a voting system that includes fans, CIAA basketball media and conference coaches. Fan balloting will take place from January 23 through February 20 at, the award website that will contain information about each candidate and the overall program.

The male and female winner will be announced during the CIAA Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina, and presented with the prestigious Senior CLASS Award trophy at the championship games on Saturday, March 2.

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Tyre Gathright, Saint Augustine’s University
Anthony Harper, Johnson C. Smith University
Jamel McAllister, Winston-Salem State University
Javen McNeill, Fayetteville State University
Cyonte Melvin, Virginia State University
Shyheid Petteway, Elizabeth City State University
Triston Thompson, Claflin University
Jordan Thornton, Virginia Union University

Kelsee Arnold, Saint Augustine’s University
Peré Alexander, Bowie State University
Jalyn Brown, Elizabeth City State University
Ashley Fields, Claflin University
Linda Galay, Livingstone College
Chrisanna Green, Virginia State University
Chinwendu Maduegbunam, Fayetteville State University
JaKeyah McNeil, Johnson C. Smith University
Brionna Pate, Winston-Salem State University
Rejoice Spivey, Virginia Union University
Tahniya Sweatt, Shaw University

Jill Lee
Phone: (913) 563-5417

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s CIAA Senior CLASS Award recognizes the CIAA’s top senior men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes. In addition to the core requirement that a candidate be an NCAA Division II CIAA senior in men’s or women’s basketball, the award winners are selected based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. These areas of excellence are defined by the four Cs: community, classroom, character and competition. Premier Sports Management manages the award.

Lowe’s, a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company, has a 60-year legacy of supporting the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. In the past decade, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together have contributed more than $300 million to these efforts, and for more than two decades Lowe’s Heroes volunteers have donated their time to make our communities better places to live. For the latest news, visit or follow @LowesMedia on Twitter.

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