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March 31, 2010

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Soccer player Blakely Mattern and golfer Patrick Rada have been nominated by the University of South Carolina for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship.

The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented by the Southeastern Conference since 1986 to the league’s top male and female scholar-athletes.

The Southeastern Conference will name the 2010 recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship on April 6 in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day.

Mattern, a native of Simpsonville, S.C., has a 3.97 grade point average, majoring in International Business and Managerial Sciences. She is a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, a five-time member of the President’s List and a two-time Dean’s List student at Carolina.

She has been named ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America first-team for two years and was a 2009 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American. She was voted by SEC coaches as the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for soccer in 2009.

A four-year starter for the Gamecocks, she played and started in a USC record 92 games. She was a team co-captain in 2008 and 2009 and was a three-time first-team All-SEC selection. She also earned first-team All-America honors as a senior and was named the SEC Tournament MVP, leading Carolina to the tournament title. She is also a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

Mattern has taken part in youth soccer clinics in the Columbia area and has been active in community service through her involvement with “Team Gamecocks.” She has volunteered at local children’s hospitals and at teen pregnancy houses.

She is also an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Rada, a native of Anderson, S.C., has a 3.67 grade point average, majoring in Finance and Marketing. He is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll (Academic Honor Roll announced later in spring), four time member of the Dean’s List and a two-time member of the President’s List. He has also earned Athletics Director Honor Roll status in every semester he has been at Carolina.

He was named an All-America Scholar by Cleveland Golf/Srixon in 2009 and was also selected to the 2009 SEC Golf Community Service Team.

Rada has started for two years on the Carolina golf team and helped lead the Gamecocks to an NCAA Championship appearance in 2009. He has five career top-10 finishes and seven career top-20 finishes. He advanced into match play at the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championships. His top finish was runner-up in the 2009 Mason Rudolph Invitational.

He has represented the golf team on the USC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for three years and has also been Carolina’s representative to the SEC SAAC. He has volunteered with Special Olympics and has taught children in golf clinics.

The SEC Office will be releasing each of its institution’s nominees periodically until the April 6 winners are announced.

National Student-Athlete Day was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society , and presented by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

National Student-Athlete Day is held each April 6 to celebrate outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to the community. It is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for young people to find the balance between academics and athletics.

Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion sponsor, provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship. The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 12 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin, Fla. on June 3.

Last year’s recipients were Ole Miss tennis player Bram ten Berge and Tennessee swimmer Christine Magnuson.