Chelsea Gray and Haley Peters have been selected two of 30 preseason candidates for the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University seniors
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Duke is the only school with more than one candidate selected.
Other candidates include Gennifer Brandon (California), Heather Butler (Tennessee-Martin), Alyssa Charlston (Idaho), Hallie Christofferson (Iowa State), Jerica Coley (Florida International), Allyson DiMagno (Cornell), Alexis Dobbs (American), Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut), Jamierra Faulkner (Southern Mississippi), Ataira Franklin (Virginia), Sarah Hansen (Florida Gulf Coast), Cassie Harberts (USC), Jordan Hooper (Nebraska), Natasha Howard (Florida State), Amanda Hyde (IPFW), Maggie Lucas (Penn State), Dequesha McClanahan (Winthrop), Sarah Nelson (Creighton), Eilise O’Connor (Missouri-Kansas City), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Theresa Plaisance (LSU), Michelle Plouffe (Utah), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Alex Smith (Holy Cross), Kacie Sowell (Seattle), DeNesha Stallworth (Kentucky), Rachel Tecca (Akron) and Alli Wiliams (Saint Francis).
The 30 candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four®.
A native of Manteca, Calif., Gray is coming off a season where she was injured in the 25th contest and missed the rest of the 2012-13 campaign. At the time of the injury, Gray was having one of the best individual seasons in Duke history. Gray, the 2013 Co-ACC Player of the Year and 2013 WBCA All-America, was averaging 13.1 points, 5.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 steals heading into game against the Demon Deacons. She led the ACC in assists and steals, while ranking in the top 10 nationally in steals as well. Gray is a sociology major and was an All-ACC Academic Team selection as a junior.
Peters, who is a product of Red Bank, N.J., averaged 12.2 points, a team-high 7.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals on the season. The 6-3 forward led Duke with 13 games of 10 or more rebounds along with 10 double-doubles. Her 273 rebounds on the year ranked as tied for sixth-most in Blue Devil single-season history. She became just the fourth Duke player to hit over 50.0 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from downtown and 75.0 percent from the free throw line in a season. Peters was a second team All-ACC selection, All-ACC Academic Team and Capital One Academic All-District III selection on the year. Peters is majoring in political science along with a minor in English.
Duke will host Glenville State on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., in an exhibition game followed by its final exhibition contest of the preseason on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m., against Coker College. Both games are free admission.
Duke will open the regular season on Nov. 10 at nationally-ranked California. The game will be aired live on ESPNU with a 6:00 p.m., tip-off.