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Nov. 6, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Sixty NCAA men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court were tabbed as candidates for the 2009-10 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. South Carolina senior point guard Devan Downey was selected as a candidate for this year’s award.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in SchoolTM, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

This year’s candidate class includes 25 players on the preseason watch lists for the men’s and women’s John R. Wooden Award, eight men’s players who are candidates for the AT&T Naismith Trophy, 11 women’s players who are preseason favorites for the State Farm Wade Trophy and three men’s and women’s players who finished their junior seasons as All-Americans. There are four players recognized last year as ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans. Eleven men’s players are from teams ranked in the preseason top 25 poll; while 11 women represent teams ranked in the top 25 women’s preseason poll. Of the 60 candidates, 13 have cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 or higher and three have maintained perfect 4.0 GPAs during their collegiate academic careers.

Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS AwardTM winner for men’s basketball at the 2010 NCAA Men’s Final Four® in Indianapolis in April and for women’s basketball at the 2010 NCAA Women’s Final Four® in San Antonio in April. The two lists of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists each midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of classroom, character, community and competition.

“Lowe’s is proud to be associated with the nominees for the Senior CLASS AwardTM in men’s and women’s basketball,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “Each of the student-athletes has shown tremendous commitment to their studies during their college careers. They have also demonstrated great character and a passion for community service.”