Seven Student-Athletes Selected as AAC Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award Winners - | Official Website of University of Louisville Athletics
Seven Student-Athletes Selected as AAC Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award Winners

Antonita Slaughter graduated with a 3.35 grade-point average, finishing as a four-time Red and Black Scholar Athlete.

Antonita Slaughter graduated with a 3.35 grade-point average, finishing as a four-time Red and Black Scholar Athlete.
Aug. 5, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Seven University of Louisville student-athletes are American Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winners for their respective sports, the league office announced Tuesday.

The Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards are given to one student-athlete in each American Athletic Conference-sponsored sport based on academic credentials, athletic accolades or performances and volunteer service to the community. Student-athletes who have attained junior academic standing and a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 are eligible.

The Cardinals’ seven selections are the most for any one school in the league.

Louisville swept both basketball awards, with Russ Smith earning the AAC Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award for men’s basketball, and Antonita Slaughter was tabbed the women’s basketball recipient.

A consensus All-American on the court, Smith was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. He graduated with a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average in communication. In 2013, he was named the BIG EAST Conference Scholar-Athlete Sports Excellence Award winner for men’s basketball and earned the Academic Momentum Award. Smith is the only Louisville player in history with at least 1,800 career points, 350 assists and 250 steals.

In March, Slaughter was announced as the AAC Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She graduated with a 3.35 in sport administration and finished her academic tenure as a four-time Red and Black Scholar-Athlete. A 2014 WNBA Draft pick, she dedicated many hours to community service efforts for events such as Women 4 Women Walk/Run and to organizations that include Habitat for Humanity and the Maryhurst Organization.

Baseball’s Jeff Gardner finished his decorated career at Louisville a Senior CLASS Award first team All-American. On the field, he was recognized as a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He graduated with a degree in justice administration in 2014, earning a 3.534 GPA, before being drafted by the Washington Nationals.



A Villingen-Schwenninge, Germany, native, men’s soccer Joachim Ball started 19 matches in 2013, finishing with eight shutouts and making 53 saves. A business major, Ball boasts a 3.97 cumulative grade-point average. The junior helped lead the Cardinals, who won the American Conference regular season championship, to the second round of the NCAA Championship. Ball ranked 15th nationally in goals against average at 0.688 and logged five-consecutive shutouts.

Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, who earned the award for men’s tennis with a 3.76 in economics, capped his stellar junior season as a 2014 American Athletic Conference all-Singles Team selection. He posted a 23-17 overall singles record and was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete in 2014. The three-time all-conference selection has been nationally ranked in singles in all three of his seasons at UofL.

Track and field’s Sam Bombaugh, one of Louisville’s two NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients, secured the award for men’s outdoor track and field. He posted a 3.90 cumulative grade-point average and received his degree in political science. A CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American, he recently earned a spot on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team. An All-American in the hammer throw, he was named the American Athletic Conference Institutional Male Scholar-Athlete for track and field.

Volleyball’s Emily Juhl, the other NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, graduated in 2014 with a 3.72 in health and human performance. The Louisville native was a unanimous first team All-American Athletic Conference selection after leading the Cardinals in points scored. Juhl, a three-time all-conference honoree, became the 16th player in program history to join the 1,000 kills club.

2013-14 American Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award Winners
Sport Name School
Baseball Jeff Gardner Louisville
Men’s Basketball Russ Smith Louisville
Women’s Basketball Antonita Slaughter Louisville
Men’s Cross Country Chris Banafato Rutgers
Women’s Cross Country Rashmi Singh Rutgers
Football Eric Lefeld Cincinnati
Men’s Golf James Ross Houston
Women’s Golf Olivia Dose Cincinnati
Women’s Rowing Julia Roth UConn
Men’s Soccer Joachim Bell Louisville
Women’s Soccer Jonelle Filigno Rutgers
Softball Kourtney Salvarola USF
Men’s Swimming & Diving Ryan Koops SMU
Women’s Swimming & Diving Nicole Scott Rutgers
Men’s Tennis Sebastian Stiefelmeyer Louisville
Women’s Tennis Cela Fraser Houston
Men’s Indoor Track & Field Corey Crawford Rutgers
Women’s Indoor Track & Field Kaitlyn Good Cincinnati
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Sam Bombaugh Louisville
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Helena Perez SMU
Women’s Volleyball Emily Juhl Louisville
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