Three A-10 Basketball Student-Athletes Nominated For Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

Dec. 22, 2008

Lowe's Senior CLASS Candidates

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Temple's Dionte Christmas and Jimmy Baron of Rhode Island are among 30 men's basketball candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, while Duquesne's Kristi Little has been named one of 30 women's basketball candidates.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season and complete college education brings. Based on criteria focusing on the "Four C's" of classroom, character, community and competition, the award winners will be selected by national balloting of head basketball coaches, national media and college basketball fans.

Baron leads Rhode Island with an average of 17.8 ppg. and has knocked down 37 field goals from beyond the arc. The senior guard enters the Rams' Dec. 30 contest at Fairleigh Dickinson with 280 career three-pointers, including 14 career performances with at least five field goals from beyond the arc. Baron nailed eight three's at Duke on Nov. 16, the most by an opposing player in the history of Cameron Indoor Stadium.

One of 50 candidates for the Wooden Award, Christmas leads the A-10 in scoring (21.0 ppg.) and is vying to become the league's first-ever three-time scoring champion. Twice named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week this season, the Philadelphia, Pa., native is tied for third in Conference history with nine A-10 Player of the Week citations.

Little is the first-ever Duquesne women's basketball player to be nominated for the award. In 2007-08, the Altoona, Pa., resident became the first-ever Duquesne women's basketball student-athlete to be named Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year. Additionally, she was named to the A-10's All-Defensive team and Third Team All-Conference. Little finished the 2007-08 season as the Atlantic 10's fourth leading scorer as well as being first in steals and second in assists. The two-year captain led the Dukes to their second-best turnaround in program history last season by improving by 6.5 games. Little also set a school record last season by making 156 foul shots. Little leads the Dukes in scoring this season with an average of 12.7 ppg.

From each of the two lists of 30 nominees, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in February, 2009. Those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. In addition to voting by Division I head basketball coaches and national media, college basketball fans will also be able to submit ballots by text voting or on-line at www.seniorclassaward.com

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 University basketball player Shane Battier, who could have been an NBA lottery pick but returned to college for his senior season and led the Blue Devils to the National Championship in 2001.

Previous A-10 recipients include Xavier's David West (2003) and Jameer Nelson of Saint Joseph's (2004).

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