April 6, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Friday marks the 25th anniversary of National STUDENT-Athlete Day which coincides with the announcement of the 2012 National STUDENT-Athlete Day Giant Steps Award winners. Purdue senior forward Drey Mingo is the recipient of the NCAS Giant Steps Courageous Student-Athlete Award.
Mingo, a two-time team captain, has been at Purdue for three years after transferring from Maryland where she played as a freshman and sophomore. The Atlanta, Ga., native has yet to compete a full season for the Boilermakers however, having faced her share of adversity.
As a junior, two days after recording a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds against DePaul on Nov. 21 to help the Boilermakers win the Preseason WNIT title, Mingo was hospitalized in critical condition with acute bacterial meningitis. The life-threatening illness caused her to spend five days in the intensive care unit of a Lafayette, Ind., hospital and left her with partial but permanent hearing loss. Mingo missed just four games however, and finished the season averaging 12.0 points, a team-high 5.8 rebounds, while setting a Purdue record for season three-point field goal percentage by hitting 27-of-56 threes for 48.2 percent.
Mingo missed the 2011-12 season after tearing her ACL on Oct. 29 in a closed scrimmage at Indiana State but remained upbeat and positive throughout the diagnosis and rehabilitation after surgery. Purdue has submitted a clock extension request for a sixth year of eligibility for Mingo and is awaiting a decision from the NCAA.
This year¡¯s five Giant Steps Award winners will be honored on Thursday, Oct. 4 at the NCAS banquet in Orlando, Fla., and include: Heroes Among Us ¨C Conner and Cayden Long; Coach ¨C Tom Walter, Wake Forest head baseball coach; Community Organization ¨C Cody Reichard; Barrier Breaker ¨C Willie O¡¯Ree and Courageous Student-Athlete ¨C Drey Mingo.
National STUDENT-Athlete Day, created by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), is designed to honor the hard work and dedication of high school and college student-athletes nationwide who have excelled in the classroom and on the playing field, while making significant contributions to their schools and communities. Since 1997, over 3.1 million student-athletes have been honored with award certificates for their outstanding achievements. As part of the National STUDENT©\Athlete Day celebration, nominations made from all over the country are accepted for the annual Giant Steps Awards that are given to individuals who exemplify the meaning of National STUDENT©\Athlete Day and use sport to make positive social change.
The awards are not limited to student-athletes but aim to honor professional athletes, athletics administrators, civic leaders, coaches, parents, organizations and other individuals who exemplify the ideals of balancing academics, athletics, life pursuits and giving back to the community through the spirit of athletics. Dr. Richard Lapchick is the founder and president of the NCAS and will be recognized by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as one of three recipients of the Mannie Jackson - Basketball¡¯s Human Spirit Award.