Vote for Devon

Devon Beitzel

Devon Beitzel is one of 10 finalists for a national award that honors a senior in NCAA Division I for character and excellence in the classroom, community and on the court.

The polls are open for UNC student-athlete Devon Beitzel, one of 10 finalists announced this week for a national award whose awe-inspiring story drew ESPN coverage.

First things first, remember to vote once daily for Beitzel for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award.

Online ballots influence one-third of the outcome. Voting by Division I coaches and national media, combined with online voting, will determine the winner.

To be eligible for the honor, a student-athlete must be a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.

Beitzel’s résumé speaks for itself.

-- Classroom: He carries a 3.7 GPA as a finance and accounting major in UNC’s Monfort College of Business. On advice he lives by: “Time management is key. Knock things out as soon as possible. No one likes to do homework, but you just have to make time to do it. Prioritize. And definitely write down due dates.”

-- Competition: He leads the Bears in scoring with 19.4 points per game (second highest in Big Sky Conference), and his free-throw shooting percentage (92) ranks 10th in the country. He’s helped the Bears to a 7-0 conference record for the first time since 1960. On his leadership role: “I make sure the new guys know how to conduct themselves on and off the court. I make sure they’re in check.”

-- Community: He volunteers with the team at Greeley elementary schools. They read to students and have helped with field days. Says Beitzel: “We make sure to schedule our visits around recess time so we can play basketball with them, too.”

-- Character: Perhaps summed up best by an account of Beitzel’s compelling personal journey published by ESPN

The CLASS winner will be announced at the 2001 NCAA Men’s Final Four at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

- Brittany Sarconi