skip navigation

Gallaudet earns 11 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Awards

Gallaudet earns 11 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Awards

FAIRFAX, Va. – Diverse: Issues in Higher Education announced the 2017 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Awards and Gallaudet University had 11 recipients. This is the 25th silver anniversary of the awards that began in 1992. The Bison increased its honoree total over fivefold in one year and have student-athletes representing 11 of the 14 sports offered.

Gallaudet's honorees include; freshman Fatuma Ali (women's cross country), sophomore Neha Balachandran (women's soccer), junior Katie Bigelow (women's swimming & diving), sophomore Jamal Garner (men's basketball), junior Rodney Lebon (men's cross country), senior Kristi Luna (women's cross country), junior Ivy Sahneyah (women's cross country, track & field), sophomore Gilwon Seo (baseball), senior Satish Thapa (men's soccer), junior Darriyan Thomas (softball, women's volleyball) and sophomore Solomon Worthey (football).

Thomas is the first Gallaudet recipient to repeat as she was named to last year's team as well. Gallaudet's honorees hail from eight different states and two countries.

The Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Awards honor undergraduate students who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the athletic field. Inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Jr.'s commitment to education as well as his love for the game of tennis, U.S. colleges and universities are invited to participate in this annual awards program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. In addition to their athletic ability and academic performance, Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars demonstrate a commitment to community service and student leadership.

To be included, minority students need to compete in an intercollegiate sport; maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2; and be active on their campuses or in their communities. Over 1,000 outstanding minority student-athletes were nominated by their respective college or university Sports Information Office to receive Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar honors. The NCAA Office of Inclusion has partnered with Diverse to support this standout class of scholar-athletes.

Gallaudet now has 14 honorees in the past four years and in program history. Thomas and B.J. Flores were honored in 2016 and Adham Talaat was picked in 2014.

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education is the nation’s only news magazine dedicated exclusively to diversity issues in higher education. Visit for more information.

Also see:

2017 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Honorees from Gallaudet

Name   Year   Sport(s)   Hometown  
Fatuma Ali   Fr.   Women's Cross Country   Tucson, Ariz.  
Neha Balachandran   So.   Women's Soccer   Dayton, Ohio  
Katie Bigelow   Jr.   Women's Swimming & Diving   Flushing, Mich.  
Jamal Garner   So.   Men's Basketball   Jacksonville, Ill.  
Rodney Lebon   Jr.   Men's Cross Country   Charlotte, N.C.  
Kristi Luna   Sr.   Women's Cross Country   Austin, Texas  
Ivy Sahneyah   Jr.   Women's Cross Country, Track & Field   First Mesa, Ariz.  
Gilwon Seo   So.   Baseball   Hongseong, South Korea  
Satish Thapa   Sr.   Men's Soccer   Ridgewood, N.Y.  
Darriyan Thomas   Jr.   Softball, Women's Volleyball   Vallejo, Calif.  
Solomon Worthey   So.   Football   San Diego, Calif.