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Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars special report to be published on May 28 — Semi-finalists Announced

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Contact: Ralph Newell
Phone: 703.385.2419
Email: [email protected]

FAIRFAX, VA (March 31, 2020) – On May 28, 2020, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education will publish its annual Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars special report edition.

As the name denotes, this edition is a part of our quarter-century legacy of recognizing outstanding minority young men and women who have distinguished themselves in their academic and athletic pursuits.

In addition to their athletic ability, the students named 2020 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars are students of color who have maintained a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5, are at least a sophomore academically, and have been active on their campuses or in their communities. Of the close to 1,000 scholar athletes nominated, one male and one female athlete will be selected as Sports Scholar of the Year.

The female semi-finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Maya Banks, Dominican University, Tennis
  • Aashaka Desai, University of Delaware, Golf
  • Raena Eldridge, Texas A&M University, Swimming & Diving
  • Carlene Luna, California State University-San Bernardino, Soccer
  • Thi Nguyen, Saint Joseph’s University, Track & Field
  • Erica Ogwumike, Rice University, Basketball
  • Brenna Shanahan, University of Louisville, Lacrosse
  • Faramola Shonekan, University of Missouri, Track & Field
  • Chanel Thomas, University of Mississippi, Soccer
  • Claire Zanti, North Carolina State University, Rifle

The male semi-finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Rodrigo Blankenship, University of Georgia, Football
  • Aaron Boyd, Virginia Tech, Swimming & Diving
  • Talha Farooq, George Mason University, Wrestling
  • Uriel Garcia, University of Houston-Victoria, Soccer
  • Jordan Holly, Murray State University, Baseball
  • Joseph Medina, University of California-Merced, Volleyball
  • Rayden Murata, Pacific University, Tennis
  • Dontelius Ross, Jackson State University, Basketball
  • Matthias Schmid, University of Louisville, Golf
  • Givon Washington, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Track & Field

Past Ashe scholars include: Baylor University’s Robert Griffin III (2011); the University of Tennessee’s Kara Lawson (2003); San Diego State University’s Marshall Faulk (1993); and Stanford University’s Simone Manuel (2017) — a four-time Olympic medalist, just to name a few who have gone on to achieve great success.

The 2020 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year finalists and winners will be announced soon.

Published since 1984, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education is the nation’s only newsmagazine dedicated exclusively to diversity issues in higher education. Visit online at

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