Feb. 10, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- All-American bowler Josie Earnest and Shan Foster, Vanderbilt's all-time leading basketball scorer, have won major awards from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Earnest will receive the award as the state's Female Amateur Co-Athlete of the Year for 2008, shared with former Tennessee basketball star Candace Parker, and Foster will be named the winner of the Male Amateur Athlete of the Year at the organization's annual induction banquet Feb. 20 in Nashville.
The selection of Earnest, who won her sport's national "Player of the Year" award as a sophomore, came as a surprise to her and is a boost to her sport, which is a relative newcomer to the NCAA's sanctioned sport menu.
"I don't think it will hit me until that evening," Earnest says. "I have thought about the recognition for bowling that this award brings. Rarely are athletes from basketball and bowling compared, and now I'll be side by side with one of the greatest female athletes in the country. That is humbling for me, but I'm proud to represent my sport."
Earnest helped Vanderbilt win its first NCAA team championship by earning Most Valuable Player honors at the 2007 NCAA Championship. The Vandalia, Ill., native was a first-team All-America selection in 2008 and became the first Vanderbilt female to win her sport's national player of the year award.
Foster worked his magic on the high profile hardwood courts of Vanderbilt's Memorial Gymnasium, where his 2,011 career points are best ever by a Commodore.
He was the Southeastern Conference's Player of the Year, earned All-America honors from a number of organizations and capped his career by winning the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the college senior that best combines athletic achievement with community service. He is currently playing professional basketball in Europe.
In addition to its annual Hall of Fame inductees, the banquet will also honor three squads as the state's "Amateur Team of the Year", each of which won a national championship. They are the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, the Lee University Lady Flames soccer team and the Bethel College men's soccer team, the latter two teams winning NAIA titles.
The Tennessee Titans will be recognized as the Professional Team of the Year while the NFL's Albert Haynesworth (Tennessee) and Chad Clifton (Green Bay) will share the Professional Athlete of the Year honor.
Tickets are on sale for $125 each by calling the TSHF office at 615-242-4750.