Stellar Scholar-Athletes

Stellar Scholar-Athletes

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Weeks after wrapping up their collegiate careers, Belmont women's basketball veterans Kylee Smith (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Sally McCabe (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) continue to garner praise for their success on the court and in the class room. The Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) announced their postseason awards this week, featuring Smith as the Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Postgraduate Scholarship recipient. McCabe was also included as one of 10 players named to the Women's Scholar-Athlete Team.  

Smith headlined the women's scholar-athlete accolades after boasting an impressive 3.92 cumulative grade-point average while compiling a career-best 18.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game during her senior campaign. The fifth-year guard completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration last year and chose to pursue a master's in Sport Administration to use up her final year of eligibility for the 2017-18 season. 

Smith led the squad's offensive charge for the third-straight year. Her 18.7 points per game rank as the second-best mark in the program's NCAA era. The Alpharetta, Ga. native registered a team-best 12 20-point performances, including contributing a pair of 30-point outings. Smith's dominating performances registered eight Top 10 single season Belmont records, including ranking third in scoring (541 points) and field goals made (193).

The guard is the first DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete of the Year to also earn the Postgraduate Scholarship on either the men's or women's side. Smith has one year of graduate school remaining and is aiming to earn her master's in the Spring of 2019. She's the first women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year to represent Belmont and the fifth Bruin to earn the prestigious award (Craig Bradshaw, 2015; Mick Hedgepeth, 2011; Justin Brett Hare, 2008; Adam Mark, 2004). 

In addition to Smith's accolades, McCabe was listed on the 10-person Scholar-Athlete team having earned a 3.86 grade-point average while studying Psychology. She also averaged career-best marks with 14.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.4 blocks a game. 

While excelling in the classroom, the center completed her career as one of Belmont's most dynamic players in program history. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn. carved her name atop the record book in all-time career blocks, rejecting an astounding 291 shots over the last four years. While dominating defensively, McCabe also became BU's Division I era leader in career scoring (1,540 points) and made field goals having drained 648. She ranked 11thin the country in blocks per game. 

Belmont is the only institution to have two student-athletes make the DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete roster. The duo also represented the Bruins on the team a year ago.

Basketball players from all Division I-AAA ADA member institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees was required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.20 - on a 4.00 scale - in undergraduate study and have been a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials. Nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent (50%) of the team's games listed on the nomination form. To be eligible for nomination to the Scholar-Athlete Team, he/she must have reached junior academic standing at their institution (ineligible athletics transfers are NOT eligible). 

Additionally, one male and one female student-athlete were selected as the Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athletes of the Year. 

Smith, and Joseph Sherburne, a financial economics major at UMBC, with a perfect 4.00 GPA, were selected as the 2018 Postgraduate Scholarship recipients. Each will receive $5,000 towards postgraduate studies and will receive their awards during the Association's annual membership meeting held June 28-30 in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C. 

A special Review Committee of Division I-AAA Athletics Directors were responsible for selecting the winners. The 2018 Review Committee consisted of: Lazenby (Committee Chair); Amanda Braun, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Don DiJulia, St. Joseph's; Bill Husak, Loyola Marymount; Philip Hutcheson, Lipscomb; Jean Lenti Ponsetto, DePaul; Kenneth Siegfied, CSU Bakersfield; Irma Garcia, St. Francis; and Robert Lineburg, Radford.

2018 Women's Scholar-Athlete Team 
Lindsey Abed
University of Hartford
Taylor Gradinjan
Exercise Science
Mart'e Grays
DePaul University
Kamila Hoskova
Rider University
Math & Economics
Jackie Kemph
Saint Louis University
Brittany Mbamalu
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Public Administration
Belmont University
Victoria Rampado
Niagara University
Chandler Smith
Gonzaga University
Belmont University
Busines Administration

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Kylee Smith, Belmont University 

Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients: Joseph Sherburne, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Kylee Smith, Belmont University.