LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - A record tying 11 Siena College student athletes have been named 2017 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. Siena's honorees included men's golf's Scott Kim, men's lacrosse's Ryan Ghaderi, water polo's Madison Obata, women's basketball's Emmanuella Edoka and Kollyns Scarbrough, women's soccer's Madison Vasquez, softball's Sarah Ho, women's tennis' Mitsuki Fukamachi and Rina Sakai, track's Meghan McDonough and volleyball's Kalehua Katagiri.
Kim was previously named Siena College's third Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Semifinalist, while Ghaderi and Obata were named Sport Winners.
Eight of Siena's 11 honorees are receiving the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars for the second time, while Kim earns the honor for the third year in a row. Siena previously boasted a then-record 11 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars last year, and had eight in 2015 and had seven honorees in 2014.
Now in its 25th year, Diverse first established the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Award in 1992 to honor undergraduate students of color who exemplify the standards set by the tennis legend. A scholar and an athlete, Ashe sought to expand opportunities for young people.
Each year, Diverse invites every postsecondary institution with intercollegiate athletics in the U.S. to submit nominations for their outstanding sports scholars. In addition to their athletic ability, students named Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars must exhibit academic excellence as well as community service.
To be eligible to be named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, diverse student athletes must have reached at least sophomore standing academically, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or better, and be active both on their campus and in their community. This year, approximately 1,200 student athletes from across the country were nominated.
Kim has been a part of the men's golf program at Siena all four years. He has finished three of his four MAAC Tournaments with the best finish on the team. The River Edge, New Jersey native sunk the decisive putt on the first playoff hole at the 2016 MAAC Championship that helped the Saints claim the MAAC Championship Title. He also took part in the NCAA Tucson Regional with the Saints. An accounting major with a cumulative 3.66 GPA, Kim has been named to the MAAC All-Academic Team once. He is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Ghaderi, a senior defensemen on the men's lacrosse team has appeared in 40 games for the Saints over his three year career. He is now ranked fifth in program history with 37 caused turnovers. In the classroom as a philosophy major, he has a 3.55 cumulative GPA and achieved a 3.57 GPA during the fall semester. Ghaderi was named the 2016 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Sport Semi-finalist. He has been named both a MAAC All-Academic Team and Academic Honor Roll selection the last two seasons. He also completed volunteer work with Immokalee Workers in both Florida and Chile and is a graduate of an Outward Bound Program. Ghaderi is the co-president of Phi Sigma Tau International Honors Society in Philosophy.
Obata, a senior utility player on the water polo who has played in 86 games for the Saints in her four year career. She has seven goals and 13 assists for Siena. Last season, the Honolulu, Hawaii native recorded four goals and five assists for a .364 shooting percentage. She has a 3.42 cumulative grade point average in English. Obata has been named to the MAAC All Academic Team once. She is the SAAC President for the 2016-17 school year. She has participated in multiple community service events this year.
A native of Abuja, Nigeria, Edoka has played in 51 games in her time in the Green and Gold. She was a key addition the team playing all 19 games off the bench. She grabbed 32 rebounds and tallied four blocks this season. She has been named to the MAAC All-Academic Team this spring, Edoka holds a 3.3 cumulative GPA while majoring in economics.
A Preseason Second Team All-MAAC selection, Scarbrough helped lead the Saints to one of their best MAAC finishes. She averaged 13.6 points per game this year and became the 28th member of the 1,000 Point Club. The Jamaica, N.Y. native ranked tenth in the MAAC in scoring (13.6), tenth in rebounding (6.3), eighth in field goal percentage (.465), and tenth in steals (1.5). A MAAC All-Academic Team honoree, Scarbrough maintains a 3.28 cumulative GPA as a psychology major.
After leading the Saints during their MAAC Championship run with 16 points a season ago, Vasquez has picked up right where she left off this fall. The West Babylon, New York product has totaled 15 points on five goals and five assists. A Preseason All-MAAC selection, Vasquez has started all 18 matches and leads Siena with 45 markers including 21 of which have been on target.A MAAC All-Academic Team selection, Vasquez currently possesses a 3.54 cumulative GPA while majoring in management.
Ho has played in 22 games and started 20 games. On her career she boasts a .233 slugging and .279 on base percentage. When catching, the sophomore has 57 putouts, six assists and a .969 fielding percentage. The Thousand Oaks, California native holds a 3.26 cumulative GPA in psychology.
Fukamachi has led the team in singles victories all of her four years and has 107 wins. This season, her and doubles partner Ali Garrity has posted a perfect 19-0 dual doubles record at doubles one, including a 7-0 conference record. At third singles she is 14-4 in dual play and 6-1 in MAAC play. The senior from Mayfield Heights, Ohio played an integral role in leading the Saints to their second straight MAAC Tournament appearance. Fukamachi boasts a 3.5 GPA while majoring in psychology, and was named a MAAC All-Academic Team selection.
Sakai has played a key role in helping the Saints earn their second straight MAAC Tournament appearance. She is 9-1 in dual play in singles this season, including being undefeated at singles two three and four. She played two doubles matches this season and was 1-1. She was the 2014-15 MAAC Rookie of the Year. The Tokyo, Japan product was named to the MAAC All-Academic Team and holds a 3.85 GPA as a mathematics major.
McDonough contributes to the cross country and track program. She competes in the mile, 1500m and 3000m during the track season. She has two top-five finishes in the mile during the indoor track season. At the MAAC Indoor Championship she took 18th place overall in the mile. The Northport, New York native has been a MAAC All Academic Team member after boasting a 3.60 GPA while exploring science majors.
MAAC Second Team member Katagiri led the league in digs (562) and digs per set (5.20). The Kaneohe, Hawaii native was named to the All-Tournament Team after her efforts in the tournament. She recorded 31 digs against Fairfield, who went on claim the 2016 MAAC Tournament Champions and in turn advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Katagiri boasts a 3.91 GPA in Psychology. She is a member of Siena's 4.0 Club and has been named to the MAAC All-Academic Team for her efforts in the classroom.