Kemp, McPherson win top student-athlete awards
Marcelus Kemp and Jordan McPherson closed their Nevada Wolf Pack careers as the 2007-08 Doc Martie and Ruth I. Russell award winners, a designation representative of the University of Nevada’s top male and female senior student-athletes.
“Marcelus and Jordan are very deserving recipients of our athletics department’s most prestigious awards and have had outstanding collegiate careers,” Groth said. “Both student-athletes have made significant contributions to their teams and our entire department and have excelled in competition, the classroom and the community.”
The awards are named for J.E. “Doc” Martie, a former Nevada men’s basketball coach (1923-29, 1930-39) and administrator, and Ruth I. Russell, a former director of women’s athletics (1948-69). Student-athletes are nominated by their head coaches and must be in their final year of eligibility and in good academic standing. The award winners are chosen in a vote by the athletics department staff.
Kemp, a senior guard from Seattle, Wash., earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors in each of his last two years for the Wolf Pack. He helped the Wolf Pack to four straight WAC regular-season championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances. He set Nevada’s career records for three-pointers made (227) and attempted (597) and finished second on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,939 career points. A 2008 all-district selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the United States Basketball Writers Association, Kemp led the team, ranked second in the WAC and was 35th in the nation in scoring this season with 20 points per game.
“I am so happy that Marcelus has been voted the winner of the Martie Award. Everyone knows of his great accomplishments as a player. He has left an undeniable mark on our program with his points, wins, championships and degree. What many may not appreciate is his success in overcoming two season-ending injuries. He has been a great representative of the University of Nevada and will continue to be as he leaves our campus this spring,” Wolf Pack men’s basketball coach Mark Fox said.
A right-handed senior pitcher from Valley, Calif., McPherson has been named to the WAC All-Tournament team in each of the last two years, pitching Nevada to the NCAA Regionals for the second time in three seasons May 16-18. She had led the Wolf Pack softball team to the program’s first WAC Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006 and was the MVP of the 2006 WAC Tournament after pitching all 41 innings of the event. McPherson set Nevada career records for wins, earned-run average, saves, appearances, games started, innings pitched and strikeouts. She also pitched the school’s first no-hitter in 2007 and holds numerous single-season and single-game school records.
“Jordan has been the cornerstone of our program for the past four seasons, and I am very pleased that she is being honored with the Russell Award,” Wolf Pack softball coach Michelle Gardner said. “She has set virtually every career pitching record at the University of Nevada, and some of those records will stand for a very long time. Our program began to dominate when Jordan arrived on campus and we have been able to take our program to the next level because of her.”