LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior forward DeNesha Stallworth was named one of 30 candidates for the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award it was announced today. Each of the 30 candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists 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 male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
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 – community, classroom, character and competition.
In the community, Stallworth has volunteered to pack and deliver food for God’s Pantry BackPack program, has participated in Lexington’s Fire Prevention Parade and served as a volunteer at a local elementary school. She also has shadowed the American Sign Language community at a local event.
In the classroom, Stallworth is set to graduate in December with a degree in Family Sciences and a minor in African American Studies. She was a member of the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll in 2012-13 and was a member of the Dean’s List in the 2012 Fall semester. After graduation, she plans on continuing her education in deaf communications as she aspires to be an American Sign Language Interpreter.
On the court, Stallworth, who was a preseason first-team All-SEC selection by the media, is UK’s leading returning scorer and second-leading rebounder for 2013-14. The Richmond, Calif., native averaged 12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last year in helping lead the Wildcats to their third appearance in the Elite Eight in the last four years. The 6-foot-3 forward netted double figures in 27-of-35 games played, including 11-of-15 SEC contests. She ranked in the top-20 in SEC scoring (16th, 12.5 ppg), rebounding (19th, 6.0 rpg), field goal percentage (4th, .484) and blocks (5th, 1.5 bpg). She is currently on the 2013-14 preseason “Wade Watch” and John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 list.
Stallworth, who transferred to UK after playing two seasons at the University of Cal-Berkley, is averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds for her career. She has notched 21 career double-doubles, including a team-high nine double-doubles for the Cats, and has compiled 1,366 career points (438 at UK) and 663 career rebounds (209 at UK).
Transferring to a new school 2,000 miles away from home can be difficult for any student. Stallworth arrived on Kentucky’s campus in 2011 and immediately earned the respect of her coaches, teammates and the Big Blue Nation with her warm and friendly nature and gritty style of play. Her character and strong work ethic makes her an excellent teammate as she is always striving to become a better person and make those around her better as well. She is a vocal leader for the team and because of that, head coach Matthew Mitchell chose her to represent Kentucky at the 2013 SEC Basketball Media Days.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the 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.