COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College men's basketball sophomore Levi Holmes III (East Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers Prep) recently earned recognition as an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, becoming one of 46 men's basketball student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II and III and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) institutions from around the country to claim the accolade.
This marks the 25th year Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine has sponsored the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award to honor minority undergraduate students who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the field of competition. With a record number of nominations, the 2017 class included more than 1,200 scholars from across 24 sports. In addition to their athletic ability, students must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2, be at least a sophomore academically, and be active on their campuses or in their communities.
As a sophomore, Holmes landed his first career Northeast-10 Conference Academic All-Conference laurel while averaging 15.2 points on 47.5 percent three-point shooting, the third-best clip in program history but the best ever by an underclassman. Holmes' 87.1 percent showing on free throws was the second-highest percentage in school annals, behind only BJ Robertson's '06 87.7 percent in 2005-06, aided greatly by connecting on a school-record 34 consecutive free throws between Nov. 19 and Jan. 10 to break John Rao's '79 40-year-old mark by one freebie.
Holmes finished second in the NE10 in three-point shooting, fourth in free throw percentage, 13th in threes (66) and 15th in scoring. He reached double figures 21 times in 25 outings, notching at least nine points on 23 occasions and netting no fewer than 18 during 11 games.
Thanks to carrying a 3.58 cumulative GPA into the spring semester, Holmes had the 10th-best GPA among men's basketball players to land the Ashe Award. He was the lone men's basketball player from the NE10 lauded, and one of only five student-athletes from the NE10's 15 institutions to be recognized among the 24 sports. Holmes was one of 20 representatives of NCAA Division I, II and III New England schools to claim an Ashe accolade.
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 participate in this annual awards program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. Diverse: Issues In Higher Education published its 25th anniversary edition of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars special report last month, and was celebrated by the NCAA's Office of Inclusion during a ceremony at the University of Richmond on April 11 and during the 2017 NCAA Inclusion Forum late last month in Providence. Published since 1984, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education is the nation's only newsmagazine dedicated exclusively to diversity issues in higher education. Learn more at diverseeducation.com and diverseeducation.com/ashe.