Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars special report to be published on April 29 — Semifinalists Announced


Contact: Ralph Newell
Phone: 703.385.2419

FAIRFAX, Va. — Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine is pleased to announce the 2021 Arthur Ashe Jr. semifinalists for Male and Female Athlete of the Year (in alphabetical order):

2021 Male Semifinalists:

  • Daniel Do, Stockton University, Biochemistry Molecular Biology, Track/Cross
  • D’Eriq King, University of Miami, Liberal Studies, Football
  • Paolo Marciano, Adelphi University, Management, Soccer
  • Jeronimo Valdepena, California State University San Bernardino, Kinesiology-Exercise Science, Soccer

2021 Female Semifinalists:

  • Jessica Drop, University of Georgia, Cellular Biology, Track/Cross Country
  • Lena Greene, Oregon State University, Bioengineering, Gymnastics
  • Chanel Thomas, University of Mississippi, Master of Business Administration Soccer
  • Mariah White, Cleveland State University, Math Education, Basketball

As the name denotes, the annual Ashe 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, students named 2021 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5, be at least a sophomore academically, and be active on their campuses or in their communities.

Winners in each individual sport category are also selected for the annual Ashe edition.
This year’s Sports Winners are (in alphabetical order by sport):

  • Tyler Williams, California State University San Bernardino, Baseball
  • Mariah White, Cleveland State University, Basketball (W)
  • Kamaka Hepa, The University of Texas at Austin, Basketball (M)
  • Samantha Plaster, Arizona State University, Beach Volleyball (W)
  • Touri Holmes, Morgan State University, Bowling (W)
  • Meredith Strickland, Oklahoma State University, Cheerleading
  • Olivia Atkins, University of Dayton, Crew (W)
  • Grace Stockton, Oklahoma State University, Dance
  • Kiratika Ariyamitr, Montgomery County Community College, Esport
  • Britt Larson-Jackson, Sweet Briar College, Equestrian (W)
  • Brandon Chien, University of California San Diego, Fencing (M)
  • Miya Coimbra, University of California San Diego, Fencing (W)
  • Ingrid Kalwitz Blanco, Sweet Briar College, Field Hockey
  • D’Eriq King, University of Miami, Football
  • Samuel Cudjoe, Saint Augustine’s University, Golf (M)
  • Macy Somoskey, University of Mississippi, Golf (W)
  • Evan Davis, University of Iowa, Gymnastics (M)
  • Lena Greene, Oregon State University, Gymnastics (W)
  • Wei Zhong, Arizona State University, Ice Hockey (M)
  • Sophie Jaques, The Ohio State University, Ice Hockey (W)
  • Lonnie Jones, Hampton University, Lacrosse (M)
  • Sarah Cedarstrand, Rutgers University, Lacrosse (W)
  • Alejandro (Alex) Perez, Loyola University Maryland, Rowing (M)
  • Olivia Cantrell, George Washington University, Rowing (W)
  • Isobel Finnegan, Hampton University, Sailing (W)
  • Paolo Marciano, Adelphi University, Soccer (M)
  • Chanel Thomas, University of Mississippi, Soccer (W)
  • Haley Basye, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Softball
  • Abbas Saeed, George Washington University, Squash (M)
  • Emils Pone, George Washington University , Swimming & Diving (M)
  • Willow Lopez-Silvers, Iona College, Swimming & Diving (W)
  • Victor Ficarra, Penn State Brandywine, Tennis (M)
  • Savanna Ly-Nguyen, Washington State University, Tennis (W)
  • Daniel Do, Stockton University, Track & Field/Cross Country (M)
  • Jessica Drop, University of Georgia, Track & Field/Cross Country (W)
  • Race Agcaoili, New York University, Volleyball (M)
  • Gabrielle Calloway, Hampton University, Volleyball (W)
  • Gabriele Simonti, George Washington University, Water Polo (M)
  • Riley Agerbeek, San José State University, Water Polo (W)
  • Anthony Valencia, Arizona State University, Wrestling

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.

2021 Ashe Scholars competing in this year’s March Madness tournament include Kalib Boone, Oklahoma State; Kamaka Hepa, University of Texas; and Anthony Duruji, University of Florida, on the men’s side. And Bigue Sarr, Oklahoma State; Danielle Patterson, Indiana University; Gabby Connally, University of Georgia; Joanne Allen-Taylor and Celeste Taylor, University of Texas; Keondra McKinney, University of Kentucky; Taya Corosdale, Oregon State; Ula Motuga, Washington State; and Zipporah Broughton, Rutgers University, on the women’s side.

The 2021 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year finalists will be announced prior to publication date.

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