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April 20, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Athletics Department held its annual Gamecock Gala on Monday evening at Colonial Life Arena. The event honored the University’s student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2008-09 campaign. Student-athletes, coaches, administrators and special guests attended the elegant event, which featured a red carpet entrance, a first class dinner and special awards ceremony.

Jay Brown of the baseball team won the night’s most prestigious award, The President’s Award, which was presented to Brown by University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides. Brown has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and is currently pursuing a master’s in public administration. He fought back from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2008 season, and also overcame a serious blood clot diagnosis last fall to contribute to the Gamecock baseball team this spring. Brown is a weekly tutor in the Midlands Reading Consortium at Watkins-Nance Elementary School, while he has also worked with the Harvest Hope Food Bank and volunteered at the Martin Luther King Jr. event in Columbia. He has been twice named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

A complete list of the award recipients is below:

SEC McWhorter Scholarship: Ashton Payne, Jason Richardson
SEC Brad E. Davis Outstanding Community Service Scholarship: Brionna Dickerson, Jay Brown
New Student-Athlete of the Year: Kayla Grimsley, Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Scholar Athlete of the Year: Ashton Payne, Mark Silvers III
Life Skills Team of the Year: The Volleyball Team
Female Athlete of the Year: Lakya Brookins
Ernest-Brooks Co-Male Athletes of the Year: Devan Downey and George Bryan IV
Gamecock Inspiration Award: Dani Monteiro
President’s Award: Jay Brown

Team MVPs
Women’s Basketball: Demetress Adams, Brionna Dickerson
Men’s Basketball: Devan Downey
Equestrian: Rebekah Roof
Football: Eric Norwood
Women’s Golf: Benedicte Toumpsin
Men’s Golf: George Bryan IV
Softball: Melissa Hendon
Women’s Soccer: Kim Miller
Men’s Soccer: Jimmy Maurer
Women’s Swimming and Diving: Amanda Dunnigan
Men’s Swimming and Diving: Kyle Cormier
Women’s Tennis: Ana Zubori
Men’s Tennis: Diego Cubas
Women’s Track and Field: Brandi Cross
Men’s Track and Field: Jason Richardson
Volleyball: Belita Salters