Among the 96 students to be honored next Monday at 6:30 p.m., at a banquet at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel Ballroom are Cedar Bluff’s Jim Nelson and Kai Wen, Piedmont’s Chase Childers and Cherokee County High School’s Susan Chesnut. Twelve class winners and the two overall state winners will be announced at the banquet.
Nelson, Childers and Chesnut claimed their respective regions’ scholar-athlete awards. Wen claimed his respective region’s achievement award.
The Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program was created in 1986 by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in conjunction with the AHSAA.
The objectives of the program are to recognize and honor Alabama students who have by ability and effort achieved a level of excellence in the areas of academics and athletics that is commensurate with their potential.
The program is also designed to make the student body aware that it is both important and rewarding for them to strive to be the best that they can be.
The initial scholarship offered by the Bryant-Jordan Program was the scholar athlete scholarship. In 1989 the Achievement Award was created. This award is designed to reward the student-athlete who achieves beyond his/her ability both academically and athletically or who may have overcome some obstacle or hardship to achieve success.
Ninety-six scholarships are awarded annually to deserving high school seniors from schools that are members of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. The program has grown from an $8,000 award program to the present over $800,000.
Butler’s Trevor Lacey and Ramsay’s Kaneisha Horn were named Mr. and Miss Basketball by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. The awards were announced last Wednesday at the ASWA’s annual Player of the Year luncheon. The event was held at The Birmingham News and presented by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Lacey, a junior, and Horn, a senior, were the top vote getters among the ASWA’s Super Five selections as voted by the group’s prep committee. First-team all-state selections in their respective classes were eligible for Super Five selection, but only Players of the Year in each class were eligible for the ASWA’s top award.
After helping the Rebels to state championships in 2008 and 2009, Lacey led Butler to a No. 1 ranking for most of the season, before a knee injury in the area final against eventual state champion Lee sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Still, he was a first team Class 5A selection for the third-straight season which saw him average 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Lacey beat out Huntsville-area foe Levi Randolph of Bob Jones by a 171-125 margin with K.T. Harrell of Brewbaker Tech close behind Randolph in third with 123 points. Muscle Shoals senior Ralston Turner was fourth (96) and Lee-Huntsville’s Josh Langford was fifth (52) rounding out the boys’ Super Five.
After missing nearly all of the 2009 season with a knee injury, Horn returned with a vengeance – averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists a game. She earned the state Gatorade Player of the Year award, was named a second-team Parade All-American, and is a finalist for the prestigious Naismith Award, awarded annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the nation’s best basketball player. She was an ASWA Class 5A first-team selection as a sophomore and a Class 4A first-team selection this year.
Horn topped runner-up Tyrese Tanner of Hoover, 152-135, with Woodland’s Courtney Strain third with 111. LeFlore’s Shanece McKinney was fourth at 104 and Sunshine’s Shafontaye Myers was fifth with 44.