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Louisville Earns NABC Team Academic Excellence Award

Chris Mack - photo by Armando Garza - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Cardinals are among seven ACC schools to achieve the recognition for academic achievement

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – July 16, 2020

The University of Louisville is among seven ACC men’s basketball teams to earn a Team Academic Excellence Award as presented Thursday by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The seventh annual academic awards, created by the NABC Committee on Academics, recognize outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better for the 2019-20 season.

In addition to the team recognition, three Cardinals were named to the NABC Honors Court for their individual excellence in the classroom in Ryan McMahon, Jordan Nwora and Darius Perry.  To be selected for the NABC Honors Court, a student-athlete must be a junior or senior academically; attain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher; must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution; and must be at an NCAA Division I, II, III, or NAIA Division I or II institution with a NABC member coach.

The men’s basketball team has attained a collective 3.0 GPA in 22 of the last 24 semesters, including a 3.160 cumulative team mark for the most recent Spring 2020 semester. Ten of the Cardinals’ 16 student-athletes on the 2019-20 roster attained a 3.0 or better GPA for the Spring 2020 semester, including Jordan Nwora and Samuell Williamson achieving a perfect 4.0.  Eight Cardinals earned a 3.6 or better GPA in the Spring semester.

UofL’s men’s basketball team received national recognition earlier this year for ranking among the top 10 percent in their sport in the latest multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) data, which measures academic eligibility, retention, and graduation for student-athletes.  It is the seventh occasion in the last eight years the Cardinals’ men’s basketball team has received public recognition through the NCAA Academic Performance Program.  Louisville and Stanford are the only two schools from Power Five conferences that have earned the APR recognition in at least seven of the last eight years.

The Cardinals won major individual academic awards as well over the past year.  Nwora was named to the 2019-20 CoSIDA Academic All-America second team — just the fourth Louisville player ever to attain the honor — and earned his third straight All-ACC Academic Team honor.  A league-high matching five Cardinals, including Nwora, McMahon, Perry, Williamson and Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble, were named to the 2020 All-ACC Academic Team.  UofL has produced an ACC-best 36 All-ACC Academic Team selections over its six years in the conference.

Four members of the Cardinals’ 2019-20 roster earned degrees from UofL this year, including Kimble (master’s degree in criminal justice), Nwora (bachelor’s in exercise science), Perry (bachelor’s in sport administration) and Grant Williams (bachelor’s in sport administration).  In addition to those new graduates, UofL’s roster last season also featured three others who had earned bachelor’s degrees a year ago in Steven Enoch (communication), McMahon (marketing) and Dwayne Sutton (sport administration).

About the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC)

Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Phog Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. For additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, go to

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