BRISTOL, Tenn. – King University men's tennis player and 2014 graduate Rodrigo Avila's list of accolades keeps growing longer. The Conference Carolinas Murphy Osborne Award winner was recently awarded one of 87 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships to continue his education.
A native of Cuernavaca, Mexico, Avila was the recipient of Conference Carolinas' Murphy Osborne Award as the league's most outstanding scholar-athlete earlier this spring. He was a double major in mathematics and physics and has aspirations becoming an engineer. In his career at King, he carried a 3.99 GPA while earning numerous academic awards, including the 2013 King University Arthur W. King Memorial Scholarship (Outstanding Physics Major) and the 2013 King University William E. Torbert Memorial Scholarship (Outstanding Mathematics Major). He was also selected as a member of Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
"This honor actually made me consider that maybe everything happens for a reason, and opportunities show up sometimes in the places where we least expected them," Avila said. "One should be able to distinguish wisely between an opportunity which may draw one closer to the goals in mind versus an opportunity which may be ornamented but it may not at the right time to take it. I'm still trying to figure out which one this is. However, one's effort is truly rewarded and I am thankful for these types of incentives."
He was a twice named a Conference Carolinas and ITA Scholar athlete while earning first team Capital Academic All-America honors this in 2013-14. Athletically, Avila was named first team All-Conference Carolinas three times while leading the Tornado to an overall record of 14-8, and a second place finish in the conference during the 2013-14 season.
"Rodrigo has a brilliant mind and a great personality, but he is also a gifted athlete and a talented musician," said King Faculty Athletics Representative Bill Linderman. "He is one of the most outstanding students I have known in my 20 years of teaching. It is very appropriate that Rodrigo has been selected for this very prestigious national scholarship."
Each year, the NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships, 87 for men and 87 for women. The 87 scholarships a split into thirds, 29 for fall sports, 29 for winter sports and 29 for spring sports and are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. The scholarships are distributed in the form of one-time grants of $7,500.
The process is very stringent as nominations are submitted by each school's Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR). At King Bill Linderman serves as the FAR, nominating Avila for the prestigious award. Along with sending in Avila's transcript, Linderman also had to complete the five-section application for the award. The application included an initial recommendation followed by a personal statement from Avila and recommendations from his head coach, athletics administrator and a professor.
For more information of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship program, click here.