April 12, 2013
• DIVERSE Magazine
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin senior Ryan Evans has been named the 2013 Arthur Ashe Jr. Male Sports Scholar of the Year by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. Inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe Jr.'s commitment to education as well as athletics, the Sports Scholars Awards honors students of color who have made academic and athletic achievement a winning combination.
Out of a pool of several hundred nominees, Evans and West Virginia women's basketball player Jessica Nicole Harlee won the national award for best exemplifying the standards of scholarship, athleticism and humanitarianism.
"I'm honored to receive this award," Evans said. "I have some great role models and have been able to learn from the mindsets of successful people. That's why I want to pass that on. I want to share the story of how your dreams can become reality if you really believe and you're willing to work hard and diligently. I'm blessed to be in the position I'm in."
"Ryan's contributions cannot be overlooked," says assistant coach Lamont Paris. "He's been instrumental to a lot of success. Without him, we wouldn't have accomplished what we did."
"Ryan is exceptional, very engaging, and he's committed to making the community a better place," an UW assistant professor Peter Miller told Diverse. "He's a great role model for what every student-athlete should be."
As a nominee, student-athletes must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2, and be active on their campuses or in their communities. Evans, a 4.0 GPA graduate student in educational leadership and policy analysis, led the Badgers averaging 7.3 rebounds per game while finishing third on the team with 10.1 points per game.
Evans is the second Wisconsin student athlete to receive this award, following women's soccer player Shannon Brown, who earned the accolade in 1999. Former Badgers football standout Russell Wilson also won the award in 2011 as a student at NC State.