(July 7, 2015)

Sapp Named Centenary Athlete of the Year

SHREVEPORT, La. — Centenary Director of Athletics and Wellness Ronda Seagraves and the Centenary Athletic Department announce the second annual winner of the Donnie Wilhite Most Valuable Athlete Award, Gents' basketball standout James Sapp.

James Sapp

"I am humbled and thankful to receive this award," said Sapp. "I am blessed to be a part of the Centenary College community, and I enthusiastically look forward to the time I have remaining at Centenary and plan to continue to represent the College, and its men's basketball program, in a positive manner."

In just two seasons with the Gents, Sapp has etched his name in the Centenary and Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference record books. The SCAC Player of the Year averaged a conference-leading 16.3 points per game. He also grabbed 8.0 rebounds per game, which ranked second, and shot 52.1 percent from the floor, which was fourth in the conference. He scored in double figures in 23 contests with 20-plus in eight outings, including a career-high 33 at Trinity on Jan. 23. He also posted seven double-doubles; with a season-high 15 rebounds against Austin College in a 72-68 win. He also earned SCAC Player of the Week honors five times this season.

This season, Sapp has received numerous accolades following the Gents' season that included a share of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season title, the first since 1989-90 season in the former Trans-Atlantic Athletic Conference, and a runner-up finish in the conference tournament. The sophomore was named a D-III News All-American Honorable Mention, D3Hoops.com All-South Region and NABC All-South District selection along with being the only non-Division I player named to the All-Louisiana Team.

"James has been a tremendous part of our basketball family for the last two years. The work ethic that he shows, to be able to accomplish what he has on the court while also being a great pre-med student, sets an example for many of the young men on our team and our other student-athletes as well," said Adam Walsh, Gents head basketball coach. "He demands success out of himself in all areas and that is evident in this latest honor for him."

Donnie Wilhite truly had an immense love and admiration of Centenary College athletics. Mr. Wilhite supported all student-athletes and the sports in which they competed. He expected excellence from all student-athletes who wore Centenary across the front. He had a great respect for those who worked hard, were exceptional performers and those that exemplified great sportsmanship. His legacy and support will live on with the recognition of the Most Valuable Athlete each year.

At the conclusion of each academic year, the Donnie Wilhite Most Valuable Athlete Award will be given to a male or female student-athlete who possesses several outstanding qualities. The student-athlete must nominated by his or her head coach and must excel in his or her sport, be a positive role model for others and exemplify the well-rounded student-athlete. Nominees are voted on by a selection committee, which is comprised of administration throughout the Centenary campus. Previous honorees for the award are former men's basketball standout Jonathan Blount and former All-American gymnast Meg Crowley.

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