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NAIA Basketball Players Recognized for Excellence in Character, Playing Ability and ScholarshipNAIA Basketball Players Recognized for Excellence in Character, Playing Ability and Scholarship
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Ryan Short of Cedarville University and Megan Gray of Georgetown College the 2007 recipients of the prestigious Emil S. Liston Award. The award, presented annually by Daktronics, recognizes a male and female junior basketball player based on scholarship, character and playing ability. Since 1950, the award honors the memory of the NAIA's first executive director Emil S. Liston. Mr. Liston was the founder of the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB) and played a principal role in the NAIA men's basketball tournament.
Short and Gray were selected by the NAIA Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives from a field that included nominees from all NAIA member institutions. Cedarville University and Georgetown College will each receive a $1,000 scholarship award from Daktronics in the name of the winner.
A native of Cynthiana, Kentucky, Gray exemplifies the true student-athlete by demonstrating excellence in the classroom, on the basketball court and in the community. In a letter of recommendation, Georgetown College chemistry professor Dr. Frank Wiseman wrote that Megan is one of his all-time best students in 27 years of teaching. She is a two-time Mid-South conference Scholar-Athlete and was named an NAIA All-American Scholar-Athlete this past year. Gray participated in two NAIA Division I National Championship tournaments and during her freshman year was pivotal in helping the Lady Tigers reach the Elite Eight. She will forego her senior year to enter pharmacy school in the fall.
"Megan is the prototype team player who dominates her position, wins games, but goes about her business quietly and effectively," said Georgetown Faculty Athletics Representative John Blackburn. "She is one of the most unflappable players I have ever watched, and she maintains a calm demeanor and workmanlike approach regardless of the situation."
Sharing the award with Gray, Short has been a leader on the Yellow Jackets men's basketball team the past three years. Having always been a starter, he took on the role as team captain his junior year and was named to the American Mideast All-Conference First Team. He can impress you with points per game, shooting percentage and assists per game stats, however, numbers are only part of the equation. Short is very gifted and strives to continually improve each area of his life. Off the court Short helped with a Hurricane Katrina relief trip, has traveled to Costa Rica and Jamaica for mission trips and is involved in a basketball camp for youth in the Cedarville community.
Both Short and Gray's long history of academic and athletic accomplishments paired with talent on the basketball court makes them the ideal recipients of the Emil S. Liston Award. To learn more about the NAIA and other national and sport specific awards visit www.naia.org.