Written by Edythe Bradley
After completing outstanding athletic careers as Albany State University Lady Rams, two former student-athletes were selected by the NCAA as recipients of Division II Degree Completion Awards, athletic administrators have announced. The awards will give Breanna Fields and Brittany White an opportunity to complete their undergraduate degrees at the university. They will each receive $6,000 in scholarship funds for the 2012-2013 academic year to complete degree requirements.
“This is a great opportunity for our student-athletes to complete their degrees and graduate, and we are thrilled to congratulate them on this accomplishment,” said Dr. Richard H. Williams, interim athletic director at Albany State. “Our goals as an eminent athletics program are to produce student-athletes who are successful in their academic endeavors as well as their athletic pursuits. They have proven themselves in both areas and represent the very best of our student-athletes at Albany State.”
A biology major from Orlando, Fla., Fields was captain of the Lady Rams basketball team. During her four-year career as a guard, Fields scored 464 career points, including 304 points during her senior season. She grabbed 283 career rebounds, and recorded 91 steals and 19 blocks. Fields was named ASU’s Most Improved Player and received an ASU Academic Achievement Award and the Lady Rams’ Team Captain Award. She is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Captain of the Lady Rams tennis team, White plans to complete her degree in health, physical education and recreation. The Fayetteville, Ga. native plans to attend medical school after graduation and was recently selected to participate in the 2012 Auburn University Summer Bridge Program. She was also named the ASU HPER Department Researcher of the Year for the College of Education and represented the HPER Department at several conferences this year. She has been a member of the SAAC for two years and served as the female representative during her senior year. She won numerous single and double matches for the Lady Rams, en route to an appearance in the SIAC championship tournament. She was the recipient of the ASU Most Improved Player Award and an Academic Achievement Award.
The NCAA established the Division II Degree-Completion Award Program in 2001 to provide deserving student-athletes financial assistance for them to complete their first baccalaureate degree. Students who have exhausted their athletic eligibility and have received athletics financial aid were eligible for nomination. The selection process for the national award emphasizes the academic performance of the student-athlete. Other factors considered are financial circumstances, athletic achievement and involvement in campus and community activities. Since 2011, more than $3 million has been granted to approximately 830 deserving student-athletes. Of those student-athletes who have received the award since its inception, 94 percent have earned their undergraduate degree using this program.