CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 2, 2019) – Virginia Union University guard Rejoice Spivey has been named the winner of the 2018-19 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for women’s basketball. The award, chosen by a combination of votes from CIAA women’s basketball coaches, CIAA media and fans, is awarded to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in CIAA women’s basketball.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the national Senior CLASS Award was launched in 2001 to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who remained committed to their university and pursued the many rewards that a senior season could bring. This season, Lowe’s brought the Senior CLASS Award to the CIAA to recognize senior men’s and women’s basketball players from the conference.
In addition to the core requirement that a candidate be an NCAA Division II CIAA senior, the award winner is selected based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. These areas of excellence are defined by the four C's: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition.
On the court, Spivey has earned a reputation as one of the top point guards in both the conference and the nation. Ranking sixth nationally in assists and assists per game, Spivey guided the Panthers to a regular-season 24-2 record and the CIAA Conference Tournament title. Also ranking sixth nationally in minutes played, Spivey became the VUU all-time assists leader this season, tallying 189 during the regular season.
Also a standout in the classroom as a biology major, Spivey has maintained a 3.56 career GPA. She has earned dean’s list honors in each of her semesters at Virginia Union and earned recognition during the Student-Athletes’ Academic Recognition Night last season.
“Rejoice Spivey is the epitome of a true team captain and leader both on and off the court. She is our floor general,” said Head Coach AnnMarie Gilbert. “Off the court, she cares about her coaches and teammates. She helps tutor her teammates when they need it and gives them advice. She is one of the hardest workers on the court and in the classroom. She is our unsung hero, and we can’t say enough good things about her outstanding character. She is very deserving of this honor.”
In addition to starring on the court and in the classroom, Spivey has displayed excellent character and a commitment to her community. Known as the consummate leader for the women’s basketball program, Spivey was selected by her peers and coaches as team captain for the past two seasons. Described as extremely unselfish and putting her team and teammates above herself, Spivey is one of the most respected players on the team and within the CIAA Conference. She also has prioritized service projects in the local community as a way
of giving back and has read to elementary school children, assisted with the Trinity Church Thanksgiving Turkey Initiative and helped with YMCA summer activities.
In addition to Spivey, Saint Augustine’s guard Tyre Gathright also was named the winner of the Lowe’s CIAA Senior CLASS Award for men’s basketball. Both were recognized on-court during the CIAA Tournament championship games.
“Lowe’s is proud to partner with the CIAA to honor these two senior guards who are not only outstanding student-athletes but great role models,” said Lowe’s Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Don Frieson. “Congratulations to Rejoice, Tyre and all the finalists. We applaud their leadership and the positive impact they’ve made on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”