The Kentucky men’s basketball team was among the inaugural Team Academic Excellence Award winners, created by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) it was announced Thursday. These awards recognize outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the 2012-13 season.
The Wildcats boasted a 3.23 team grade point average in the spring of 2013 which was a team record. Twelve UK players accumulated a 3.0 GPA or higher in the spring semester including Twany Beckham and Jarrod Polson who were honored individually by the NABC for academic excellence.
Under coach John Calipari, the Wildcats have tallied a 3.0 or higher cumulative team GPA during the spring semester in each of the last three seasons including during the 2012 National Championship run.
Since Calipari’s arrival, all seven players who have exhausted their athletic eligibility have graduated from UK including: Beckham, Josh Harrellson, Ramon Harris, Mark Krebs, Darius Miller, Perry Stevenson and Eloy Vargas. Additionally, Patrick Patterson and Polson completed degrees in just three years. Current senior Jon Hood has also received a bachelor’s degree and will have another year of athletic eligibility.
Kentucky is the only team from the Southeastern Conference to earn recognition to the NABC’s inaugural team academic excellence award. The honor is even more impressive considering UK is among six BCS level institutions to earn recognition.