True Blue, Jayhawker Award nominees announced by RCCA committee
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Nominees for the True Blue and Jayhawker Award were announced by the Rock Chalk Choice Awards committee on Thursday. The committee has now announced four nominee groups for the Sixth Annual Rock Chalk Choice Awards after revealing the candidates for the Crimson Climb Award and the Best Jayhawk in a Supporting Role on Tuesday.
The True Blue Award honors a student-athlete who demonstrates devotion to excellence in academics and athletics while advancing Kansas Athletics through participation in student organizations or community service projects. Head Team Physician Larry Magee and Associate Athletics Director of Sports Medicine Murphy Grant will be presenting the award to this year’s winner.
TRUE BLUE NOMINEES
Jeremiah Booker (Football) – A College Station, Texas native, he was named to the Athletic Director’s & Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Rolls in both semesters of his sophomore season. Battling injuries all season, he played in 10 games and caught nine passes for 63 yards.
Casey Douglas (Baseball) – The Los Altos, California product earned a spot on the Athletic Director’s & Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Rolls in both semesters during his junior year. In his lone appearance of the year for the Jayhawks, he pitched two innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out a career-high five batters.
Nick Giusti (Track & Field) – A member of the Athletic Director’s & Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Rolls in both semesters last year. The Wichita, Kansas native was a member of the successful 4×400-meter relay team that won the event at the Iowa State Classic during the indoor season and the Rock Chalk Classic during the outdoor season.
Maddie Irelan (Rowing) – In her senior season, the Dublin, Ohio native was named Academic All-Big 12, while competing in KU’s First Varsity Eight. She raced in KU’s First Varsity Eight during the Sunflower Showdown, adding nine points to the 12-10 victory.
Morgan Williams (Soccer) – A senior from Carrollton, Texas, she was a key defender for the Jayhawks in 2016, seeing action in 18 of their 21 matches. She also earned a spot on the Academic All-Big 12 First Team after her strong work in the classroom as she finished her degree in Microbiology.
The Jayhawker award, which is presented to an athlete that has exhibited a commitment to Kansas principles and demonstrated mental toughness in the face of adversity and competition while making a positive contribution to Kansas Athletics. Assistant Athletics Director of Sports Performance Andrea Hudy and Director of Football Strength & Conditioning Zac Woodfin will announce the winners at the event.
JAYHAWKER AWARD NOMINEES
Addison Barry (Volleyball) – A member of the Athletic Director’s & Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll both semesters last year, the Topeka, Kansas native saw action in 17 matches for the Big 12 Champion Jayhawks last season. She totaled 26 digs and five aces on the year, recording season highs of five digs and two aces in the season finale against Creighton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Hannah Driscoll (Swimming & Diving) – The Niwot, Colorado native was an Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree in her junior season. She swam a lifetime-best in the 50-meter short course freestyle at William Jewell with a time of 27.71 and was given the team’s IronHawk Award and the Karen Dionne Most Inspirational Award at the end of the season.
Chase Hanna (Men’s Golf) – A product of Leawood, Kansas, he competed in every event during his four years at Kansas and he culminated his celebrated career by being the first Jayhawk to win the Big 12 Championship and earn GCAA All-America and All-America Scholar honors in the same season.
Frank Mason III (Men’s Basketball) – One of the most prolific players in Jayhawk history, the Petersburg, Virginia product was the unanimous National Player of the Year, winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year. He was also an All-America First Team honoree, Big 12 Player of the Year and an All-Big 12 First Teamer. He became the only player in KU and Big 12 history to average more than 20 points and five assists in the same season.
Blake Weiman (Baseball) – An All-Big 12 honorable mention honoree and Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, the Littleton, Colorado native was a member of the Athletic Director’s & Big 12 Commissioner’s honor rolls both semesters last year. He notched a 2.80 ERA in 45 innings of work on the hill last season, and was drafted in the eighth round (238th overall) of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Following a red-carpet entrance that will be streamed live on the Kansas Athletics Facebook Page and a reception in the Lied Center lobby, accolades in five additional categories – Jayhawker Award, True Blue Award, Rock Chalk Moment Award, and Male and Female Athlete of the Year – will be unveiled and special student-athlete academic achievements will be recognized during the ceremony on September 10.
As in years past, due to space limitations at the Lied Center the event is by invitation only and limited to athletic department staff, student-athletes, and selected KU faculty and dignitaries. Winners of every award will be interviewed backstage by former Kansas women’s basketball player Jada Brown, which will be live on the KU Leads Instagram page.
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