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North Carolina senior Luke Maye wins award that goes beyond basketball

UNC’s Luke Maye gives Coach Roy Williams credit-but just a little

UNC's Luke Maye tells reporters that coach Roy Williams fired up the Tar Heels at halftime with his speech about playing better defense in their NCAA Tournament game against Washington.
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UNC's Luke Maye tells reporters that coach Roy Williams fired up the Tar Heels at halftime with his speech about playing better defense in their NCAA Tournament game against Washington.

North Carolina senior Luke Maye has won the 2018-19 Senior CLASS Award for Men’s Basketball, honoring the attributes of senior student-athletes in community, classroom, character and competition.

The award is voted by Division I men’s basketball coaches, national basketball media and fans, and is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s basketball.

“There isn’t a finer example of someone who put in more effort and, as a result, got more out of his college experience than Luke,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said in statement.

Maye is the second men’s basketball student-athlete from North Carolina to win the Senior CLASS Award. Tyler Hansbrough won it in 2009.

“My time at North Carolina has been priceless, and not solely because of the basketball success or academic achievement,” Maye said in a statement. “The entire experience — from the conversations with teachers to the interactions with fellow athletes to the laughs with friends — has made my four years so special.”

University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams talks about how Luke Maye's success has focused more defensive attention on the Tar Heel big man. Williams was talking to reporters in advance of the Tar Heels' rivalry game with NC State.

Tom Jensen, who graduated from UNC in 2006, launched a petition to add winning the award to the list of ways UNC players can qualify to have their jersey honored in the rafters at the Dean Dome. As of early Friday afternoon, the petition had garnered 40 signatures. Maye narrowly missed qualifying in 2018 when he was a Sporting News third-team all-American; second team would have done it.

“The Senior Class Award is an honor that represents the Carolina Way that Coach Smith created and Coach Williams has continued so well in our program,” the petition reads. “Any four year UNC Basketball player who won this national honor based on both their on court performance and their off court academic performance and service would be worthy of having their jersey in the rafters with other Carolina greats, even if they didn’t meet any of the other existing criteria.”

Maye also earned the Skip Prosser Award as the top men’s basketball scholar-athlete in the ACC, was named to the all-ACC Academic team and named a second-team academic all-American as both a junior and senior.

Jonathan M. Alexander has been covering the North Carolina Tar Heels since May 2018. He previously covered Duke basketball and recruiting in the ACC. He is an alumnus of N.C. Central University.


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