April 18, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State senior Victor Ojeleye was named one of the Top 10 male finalists for the 2012 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award on Wednesday in a joint announcement by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine and the NCAA.
Ojeleye was among 20 student-athletes (10 male and 10 female) selected to the finalist list from over 600 minority candidates nominated by their respective institutions. The winners will be profiled in the May 24 edition of Diverse magazine. He was one of five Big 12 student-athletes named as finalists for the award – the most from one conference – and included Emmanuel Acho (Texas, football), Chelsea Garcia (Oklahoma State, softball), Krista Lopez (Oklahoma State, soccer) and Beth West (Texas A&M, soccer).
The Sports Scholar Award was established in 1992 by Black Issues in Higher Education, now Diverse, to honor undergraduate students of color who exemplify the standards set by tennis great Arthur Ashe Jr. To be nominated, student-athletes must compete in an intercollegiate sport, maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and be active on their campuses or their communities.
A native of Ottawa, Kan., Ojeleye has been a leader on and off the court during his playing career. A four-year lettermen and two-time captain for the Wildcat basketball team, he is a part of the winningest senior class in school history with 96 victories. He is also one of just seven players in school history to earn first team academic all-conference honors three times in a career and the first since Josh Reid (1997-2000).
Ojeleye was elected by his peers to serve as Vice-Chair of the Big 12’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) during the 2011-12 athletics season. He also earned the inaugural Dr. Gerald Lage Award from the Big 12 in 2010-11, which is given to student-athletes who have earned 100 or more hours of credit with a cumulative 3.8 GPA. He has been named to the Fall and Spring Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Rolls each of the past four years.
Ojeleye will graduate from Kansas State in May with a dual degree in accounting and finance.
Past winners of the Sports Scholar Award include Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III (2011), ESPN analyst and former Tennessee standout Kara Lawson (2003) and NFL Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk (1993).
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education is the nation’s only news magazine dedicated exclusively to diversity issues in higher education. For more information, visit www.diverseeducation.com.