April 3, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --Football player Richard Kent and women's basketball player Gabby Smith are among twenty-eight Southeastern Conference student-athletes - one male and one female from each of the SEC's 14 institutions - have been nominated for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award, it was announced Wednesday.
Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion, provides the league's male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 26 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $7,500 post-graduate scholarship.
The recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Awards will be revealed on April 5.
The SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award was first presented in 1986. The honor was renamed the H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Scholar-Athletes of the Year in May 1990 to honor the former commissioner who served the conference from 1972-86.
The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 14 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin, Fla. on May 30.
Last year's McWhorter Award recipients were South Carolina baseball player Michael Roth and Georgia swimmer Wendy Trott.
The 2013 nominees from Vanderbilt are profiled below.
Richard Kent, Football (Male McWhorter Nominee)
· Expected to earn a B.A. degree in Spanish and interdisciplinary studies in May 2013.
· A member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and the Dean's List.
· A three-year starter for the Vanderbilt football team, averaging 44.9 yards per punt at senior, ranking among the nation's leaders and earing a spot on the All-SEC Second Team.
· Named a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award in 2012.
· Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, served as an English tutor in Guadalupe, Mexico, visited the local children's hospital and volunteered at Dance Marathon.
· A member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity and was nominated for the NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
· A native of Marietta, Ga., he is the son of Brad and Barbee Kent.
Gabby Smith, Basketball (Female McWhorter Nominee)
· Expected to graduate with a B.S. degree in cognitive studies/sociology in May 2013.
· A member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and the Dean's List in every semester. Named to the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology, the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society.
· Designed an organized a research study on self-fulfilling prophesies in athletics in the Vanderbilt Psychology and Human Development Lab, using a case that had affected her own athletic performance.
· Earned the Commodore Award, given by her head coach to the team member who best demonstrates unwavering commitment to the VU program, and the Weightlifter of the Year award within the Vanderbilt women's basketball program. Team captain for the 2012-13 season.
· Co-founder of VU Hoops for Kids, a partnership between the Vanderbilt women's basketball program and the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
· Volunteered at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital, assisted at the Youth Encouragement Services' Lindsley Center and the Camp for Courageous Kids.
· A native of Terrace Park, Ohio, she is the daughter of James and Julie Smith.
For the complete list of nominees, visit SECSports.com.