Frank Lombardo

Looking Back on the 2020-21 Senior CLASS Award®

by Frank Lombardo July 02, 2021 in Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Baseball, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

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In an extremely challenging year for most, it meant so much for us to honor all of the special seniors during the 2020-21 academic school year - even more so because last year was incomplete. We knew there would need to be a change to our program with student-athletes being granted the option of an additional year of eligibility, and we welcomed the opportunity to be proactive. We encouraged all senior student-athletes, who would have normally exhausted their eligibility at the conclusion of this spring semester, to be nominated. Each year presents a new opportunity for us to honor student-athletes that have given us so much to be proud of - and that was no different this year. Here are some updates on our phenomenal 2020-21 Senior CLASS Award® winners!

Tennessee women’s basketball standout Rennia Davis was chosen with the ninth overall selection in the 2021 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx after a terrific senior season. She has not yet played due to injury, but we can’t wait to see her get back on the court. Davis also loves to cook and would love to own her own restaurant once her playing career concludes.

Luka Garza, the new all-time leading scorer for the Iowa men’s basketball program, is continuing to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA. He had a great showing at the recent NBA Draft Combine and will continue preparing for the draft later this month.

Jordan Kawaguchi signed a professional ice hockey contract with the Dallas Stars organization this March after graduating from North Dakota. He is currently playing with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars. In three games with the Stars, the former All-American recorded one goal and one assist.

Georgetown lacrosse’s Jake Carraway was selected with the 10th pick in the 2021 PLL College Draft by the Atlas Lacrosse Club after being named a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award. In his first four games, Carraway has tallied an impressive 12 points, tied for the fourth-most in the league! He also works at Barclays as an Investment Banking Analyst.

Rachel Garcia of UCLA softball won her second consecutive Honda Cup, becoming only the third student-athlete to earn the award twice (Maya Moore and Tracy Caulkins)! We will be cheering her on as she represents Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics later this summer. Garcia hopes to continue playing softball while also pursuing a career in sign language to work with special needs children.

T.J. Collett capped off a spectacular career with the Kentucky baseball program and is back in his hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana. He works for RJL Solutions as the Relationship Development Specialist after completing an internship with the company last year.

Kekaula Kaniho (Boise State football), Stephanie Samedy (Minnesota volleyball), Thomas M’Barek (Cleveland State men’s soccer), and Lena Kurz (UIC women’s soccer) have all elected to use their additional year of eligibility and will return to their respective universities for a final season. Kurz will return to Germany after and hopes to find a career in instructional leadership while playing soccer with her local club team. We look forward to watching them excel once more at the collegiate level!

It’s a special feeling for us to watch our winners continue to be successful and shine in every aspect of what it means to be a role model, both on and off the field of play. We wish them the best of luck in all of their future endeavors and can’t wait to see them grow into exceptional men and women in the professional world. The time to prepare for the next group of outstanding senior student-athletes during the 2021-22 school year is on the horizon - and we can’t wait!