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South Carolina Nominees for McWhorter Post-Graduate Scholarships Announced
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South Carolina Nominees for McWhorter Post-Graduate Scholarships Announced

Kai Kroeger of the South Carolina football team and Ayana Akli of the Gamecocks’ women’s tennis team have been nominated for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship by the University of South Carolina.

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 2024 recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship in late April.

Highlights of South Carolina’s nominees include:

KAI KROEGER, South Carolina, Football

Major: History

  • SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, 2023, 2022, 2021
  • The President’s Outstanding Student-Athlete Award, 2023
  • Represented Football on SAAC, 2023-24, 2022-23
  • Representative on the SEC Football Leadership Council, 2023
  • Four-year starter
  • Averaging 43.9-yards per punt, second in school history
  • First-Team All-America, 2022
  • Fourth-Team All-America (Phil Steele)
  • First-Team All-SEC, 2022
  • Jim Carlen Award (MVP Special Teams), 2022
  • Nutrition Award, 2022
  • SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman Team, 2020
  • SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll, 2020-21

AYANA AKLI, South Carolina, Tennis

Major: Civil Engineering

  • SEC Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2024
  • ITA Scholar-Athlete, 2022
  • CSC Academic All-District, 2023
  • Two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll, 2022, 2023
  • Accounts for over 120 career singles win and almost 90 career doubles wins
  • NCAA Singles and Doubles Tournament Quarterfinalist (furthest a Gamecock has been in singles), 2023
  • ITA Fall National Runner-Up, 2023
  • Ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation in singles and No. 10 in doubles, 2024
  • ITA Singles All-American 2023
  • ITA Doubles All-American, 2023
  • Three-time NCAA Singles Tournament Qualifier, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Two-time SEC All-SEC First team, 2022, 2023
  • Two-time All-Big Ten Team and Big Ten Freshman of the Year
  • Academic All-Big Ten
  • Two-time SEC Community Service Team, 2023, 2024

The SEC provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $20,000 post-graduate scholarship.  The 26 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship.

The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 14 SEC institutions and are announced in May, as well as honored by the league membership at SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla.

Last year’s McWhorter Award recipients were LSU men’s cross country and track and field student-athlete Jackson Martingayle and Callie Dickinson of the Georgia women’s swimming and diving team.