Redshirt junior Kate Spradlin of the Longwood women’s basketball team became the first player at Longwood to be named a recipient of the most prestigious academic accolade within the Big South, earning the conference’s George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence. Kate is a graduate of Lord Botetourt High School.
Spradlin, who boasted a perfect 4.0 grade point average at her graduation in May, was one of 10 Big South student-athletes selected as recipients.
“It’s really great to be honored,” said Spradlin, a business administration major. “The hard work in the classroom is the backside that goes into athletics. Just being able to represent Longwood athletics is something that’s important to me, and I’ve always tried to do that throughout my time at Longwood. This award is not just indicative of my academic success, but also everyone that works with Longwood athletics.”
Spradlin played 29 games this past season as a redshirt junior with four starts, averaging 3.2 points and 1.0 rebounds per game while scoring in double figures in three games under the direction of first-year head coach Rebecca Tillett. For her career, she sank 100 three-pointers in 88 career games, doing so after joining the Longwood program as a walk-on during her freshman year.
That career has seen Spradlin emerge as one of the top three-point shooters each year, posting a career .331 three-point percentage while scoring in double figures 15 times in her four seasons.
The Christenberry Award is the latest among a long list of accolades for Spradlin. A 2017-18 Big South All-Academic Team member, the Blue Ridge, Va., product was named to Longwood’s President’s list in all seven semesters that she’s been at Longwood and was a three-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll.
A business administration major, Spradlin also earned an academic excellence award in finance and earned a Delta Sigma Pi scholarship key within her department.
“This award is so special because it includes all of the schools in the Big South and there are so many great student-athletes that are deserving in the Big South,” Spradlin said. “This represents Longwood. It’s one of the biggest honors I’ve received.”
Big South member institutions nominate one male and one female undergraduate student-athlete for the annual Christenberry Award. The honor is named for George A. Christenberry, the former President of Augusta College (now Augusta University) and one of the founders of the Big South Conference. A member of the Big South Hall of Fame, Christenberry served as the league’s first President from 1983-86.