Duo Garners B1G Sportsmanship Honor
June 7, 2018

Big Ten Honor Roll

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Women’s track and field’s Brionna Thomas and men’s basketball’s P.J. Thompson were named Purdue’s recipients of the 2018 Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, the conference office announced Thursday. Twenty-eight student-athletes from around the conference were selected for the honor from a group that exceeded 350 candidates.

The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The individuals must be fair and respectful to their opponent and, in addition, be enthusiastic about the game, enjoy playing it and, win or lose, do their absolute best at all times. The recipients also shall be active on their campus communities. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.

Thomas will leave Purdue as one of the most decorated athletes in school history. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, native is an 11-time All-American (and counting) in the 400-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay. For her career, she won 16 Big Ten medals, including seven golds, and led the Boilermaker women to the 2017 Big Ten Outdoor title, the program’s first since 1999. Thomas broke six school records - 400-meters indoors and outdoors, 4x400-meter relay indoors and outdoors, 200-meters outdoors and 4x200-meter relay outdoors - including two that also set new Big Ten Conference standards. This year, she was named the Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year for the indoor season and the Great Lakes Region Track Athlete of the Year outdoors.

Earlier this year, Thomas earned a pair of first team All-America honors, including a runner-up finish in the 4x4 at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a time that makes Purdue the eighth fastest relay school in NCAA history. She is the first woman in school history to win the Big Ten 400-meter dash title outdoors, which she did this year with the second-fastest time in Big Ten Championships history, and was also a member of the 2015 Big Ten champion 4x100-meter team, which brought Purdue its first gold medal in the event.

Thompson was a three-year starter for the Boilermakers on the hardwood, helping the Boilermakers to four NCAA Tournaments and 104 wins during his collegiate career. He finished his career with 805 career points and 294 assists and set the school record for career assist / turnover ratio at 2.94 (294 / 100). He started 97 career games as a lightly-recruited point guard out of Brebeuf Prep and his 137 games played are the seventh most in school history. He also ranked 13th on the school’s career 3-pointers made list (161) and his 40.4 3-point percentage is ninth best all-time at Purdue. Moreso, Thompson was a three-time member of the Big Ten’s All-Academic team and was a model citizen off the court, spending many hours reading at local elementary schools and interacting with area youth.

Thomas is the first women’s track and field recipient in school history, while Thompson is the first men’s basketball player to receive the honor since Kenneth Lowe in 2003.



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