March 28, 2007


(Kansas City, MO) - Twenty of the top student athletes in NCAA lacrosse were announced today as candidates for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the all-new men’s lacrosse division. The award will be presented annually to an NCAA Division I men’s senior lacrosse player who excels both on and off the field.

Lowe’s recently announced the addition of men’s lacrosse and three other NCAA sports to the award program that originally was launched in 2001 with basketball.

Candidates were selected based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete.  While the on-the-field performance during their collegiate lacrosse careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.

  This list of candidates includes lacrosse players from 15 different schools and six conferences.  The Atlantic Coast Conference leads the pack with seven athletes on the list while the Ivy Group has four and the Colonial Athletic Association has three.

From the list of 20 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in April as the lacrosse season hits its peak. Those ten names will then be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award ballot for a nationwide vote beginning April 24 and concluding May 15.  Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.  Winners will be announced during the weekend of May 26 during the 2007 NCAA Lacrosse Championships in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in America and we’re pleased to recognize these outstanding individuals who are among the nation’s finest collegiate student athletes,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing and advertising.  “In looking at these twenty candidates, their list of achievements is very impressive, not only as lacrosse players, but also in the classroom and their respective communities.”

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season in response to the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional.  Lowe’s has extended the award in 2007 to include four other NCAA sports:  baseball, softball, men’s hockey and men’s lacrosse.  Those winners will be decided in separate balloting.

The award was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman.  It was inspired by the remarkable story of former Duke star Shane Battier, who could have been an NBA lottery pick but returned to college for his senior season, led the Blue Devils to the national championship in 2001 and earned his college degree.