Merriewether Named Chick-fil-A Community Champion

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Senior Chris Merriewether was named to the Winter Chick-fil-A Community of Champions list on Thursday in announcement by the Big 12 Conference.

During each semester, the Big 12 honors one student-athlete from each institution to the Community of Champions.  To be considered for the list, a student-athlete must hold a 3.0 grade point average or higher, must be involved in at least one community service program and must demonstrate leadership and sportsmanship on and off the field.

Merriewether, who came to K-State as a walk-on before earning a scholarship each of the past two seasons, is involved in several extracurricular activities.  He has worked heavily with the department's initatives on Cats for Cans, Adopt A Family and Read to Achieve, while he has volunteered for Camp Hope, which serves cancer patients in the area.  He also developed a program called "Hygiene Hijack" for student-athletes and coaches to donate toiletries from hotels and other travels to local shelters.    

Last spring, Merriewether became the first men's basketball player at K-State to be elected President of the Student-Athlete Association Council (SAAC), while he served as the student-athlete representative on the search committee for the new athletics director that yielded John Currie.  A May 2010 graduate in finance, he has already accepted a job as a financial analyst for ConocoPhillips in Tulsa.  He served an internship with the company last summer, where he worked alongside former Wildcat Clent Stewart.

Merriewether has been named every Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll each semester since 2006, while twice he has been named to the Academic All-Big 12 team.  He was also nominated to attend an NCAA Leadership Conference.

Merriewether has seen action in 22 of 23 games this season in helping the Wildcats to a 19-4 overall record and 6-3 mark in Big 12 play.  He has helped the squad to their highest ranking in the AP poll since 1973 at No. 9 as well as their highest ranking in the Coaches' poll, also at No. 9, since USA Today took over ownership in 1991-92.  He is averaging just under nine minutes per game with 0.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per outing this season. 

Merriewether and fellow four-year senior Luis Colon have a chance to become the winningest senior class in school history this season, as they trail Fred Barton (88; 1976-78; 1979-81) by three wins.  They are also looking to become just the second senior class to advance to the postseason for four consecutive seasons.

Kansas State will be awarded $3,000 from Chick-fil-A for Merriewether's efforts.

No. 9/9 Kansas State will return to action tomorrow when the Wildcats play host to Colorado (11-12, 2-7 Big 12) at 5 p.m. in the first of back-to-back home games.  The contest will be broadcast regionally on the Big 12 Network as well as nationally on ESPN Full Court.