Aug. 26, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. – University of Oklahoma volleyball senior Francie Ekwerekwu (Arlington, Texas) has been named one of 30 finalists for the inaugural Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for the sport of volleyball.
From the list of 30 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in mid-October. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award. The winner will be announced at the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship in December.
Ekwerekwu recently graduated with a 3.74 cumulative grade point average and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. She is currently enrolled in the human relations Master’s program at OU and has a 4.0 GPA. After graduating in May 2011, she plans to attend law school. Ekwerekwu is a three-time member of the Academic All-Big 12 team.
She is a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar. The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program prepares first generation, low income, and under-represented undergraduate juniors and seniors for graduate education through preparatory workshops, seminars, lectures and exposure to a research experience under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
In July Ekwerekwu was selected as one of five national recipients of the John McLendon Postgraduate Scholarship by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Ekwerekwu is a Big Sister with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization in Norman and president of the University of Oklahoma Bridge Builders program. She is also a member of the Fellowship of Athletes leadership team and was a volunteer for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Children’s Run.
On campus, Ekwerekwu helped organize a Black History Month Poetry Night and African American History Art Show at OU and is a member of The Impact Movement, a student Bible study and outreach group. She also is a member of the Black Student Association.
She has also provided Christmas gifts and mentoring for youth in delinquent centers in the Oklahoma City metro area and serves as a volunteer at KinderCare Child Daycare Center in Norman. Ekwerekwu has spent time working with underprivileged children and youth in the metro area through Family Development and Intervention Services of Oklahoma City.
Ekwerekwu has volunteered her time with the Special Olympics in Norman, Toys for Tots, Christmas Angel Tree and at several food banks, homeless shelters and day care centers not previously mentioned. She has served as a referee for a home school volleyball league in Norman and attended the 2009 NCAA Leadership Conference in Orlando.
Ekwerekwu was named an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection as a junior and earned All-Freshman team honors in 2007. This past season she was named Most Valuable Player of the UT-Arlington Invitational. In three seasons, Ekwerekwu has been a consistent starter at middle blocker for the Sooners. She has helped lead the team to the NCAA Championship twice (2009, 2007).
As a junior, she started every match at middle blocker and ranked second on the team in kills (276). Ekwerekwu averaged 2.68 per set on the year and hit .285 in all matches. She had 11 service aces and was second in blocks with 93 on the year, a 0.90 average. In conference play, she had 194 kills in conference play, a 2.69 average and hit a team-best .281 in those contests. Ekwerekwu led the team with 68 blocks in league matches, a 0.94 per set average.