Jeremy Anderson and Panashe Nhekairo have been honored with the Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence by the Big South Conference.
The Big South Conference has honored Liberty men's basketball player Jeremy Anderson and men's soccer player Panashe Nhekairo with the prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence.
Along with Anderson, a kinesiology major, and Nhekairo, a government major, the league also honored Gardner-Webb women's track & field's Carrie Long, Presbyterian College women's soccer player Meghan Skinner and Coastal Carolina women's basketball player Katie White. All five student-athletes will graduate next month with 4.00 grade-point averages in their respective fields of study. The Big South will formally present the awards on June 2 in Hilton Head, S.C., as part of the league's spring meetings and Hall of Fame dinner.
Anderson, a native of Bowling Green, Ky., is a two-time Big South Men's Basketball All-Academic team member and has been named to the Big South Presidential Honor Roll four times in his career. This past season, he played through injury and still ranked third on the Flames with 22 three-point field goals in 26 appearances. In 2009-10, Anderson played in all 31 games with 13 starts, and led Liberty with 53 three-point field goals. He scored a three-pointer in 26 games and finished the season 20-of-23 from the free throw line. Anderson netted a season-high 17 points at Gardner-Webb on Feb. 13, 2010.
As a true freshman in 2007-08, Anderson missed the first nine games with an injury, but was able to end the campaign with 6.8 points per game and 46-of-117 from three-point range to earn a spot on the Big South's All-Freshman team. He scored a career-high 20 points and six three-pointers at VMI on Jan. 28, 2008, en route to earning conference Freshman of the Week honors. For his career, Anderson has appeared in 80 games and has drained 121 of his 133 career field goals from beyond the arc.
Nhekairo, a native of Smyrna, Ga., has been a Big South Presidential Honor Roll honoree each of his first three years at Liberty. While the reserve goalkeeper played in just six games during in his four-year collegiate career, he was 2-1 with a 0.53 goals against average in 338:22 minutes in net for the Flames. This past season, Nhekairo played two games, including a shutout victory in his lone start of the season against Southern Virginia on Oct. 22.
He appeared in three contests his junior season with two starts – both coming in the 2010 Big South Men's Soccer Championship. Nhekairo posted a 1-1 record with an 0.84 GAA in 213:30 minutes in 2009, and allowed two goals while making six saves on the year. His victory was a shutout win in his first collegiate start, a 2-0 blanking over Radford in the Big South Men's Soccer semifinals on Nov. 14, helping Liberty to advance to the title game for the second-straight year. Nhekairo did not see action his sophomore campaign, but helped the Flames win the 2007 Big South Men's Soccer title as a freshman. That season, he did not allow goal in 15:54 minutes of action.
With the two honorees, 12 Liberty student-athletes have been awarded the Christenberry.
Liberty Male Recipients 2010-11 – Jeremy Anderson, Panashe Nhekairo 2008-09 – Patrick Walker 2005-06 – Daniel Darnell 2003-04 – Jeremy Graves, Mats Persson 1992-93 – Karl Shoemaker Liberty Female Recipients 2004-05 – Danielle McNaney 2002-03 – Brooke Garman 1998-99 – Cathy Williams 1997-98 – Holly Deem 1996-97 – Lora Randolph
The conference honor is named for George A. Christenberry, the former president of Augusta College (now Augusta State University) and one of the founders of the Big South Conference. A member of the Big South Hall of Fame, Christenberry served as the conference's first president from 1983-86. One male and one female student-athlete from each member institution – regardless if the sport is sponsored by the Big South – are nominated for the Christenberry Award.
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