Nov. 4, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame basketball players Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn.) and Natalie Novosel (Lexington, Ky.) have been named candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Sixty NCAA men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court were selected as candidates for the 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. The complete list of candidates follows this release. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s 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.

The 60 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in both men’s and women’s basketball 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, Division I men’s and women’s coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.

Abromaitis is entering his fifth season with the Fighting Irish. Last month, the forward was named to the Preseason Top 50 List for the John R. Wooden Award and to the preseason All-BIG EAST First Team. Abromaitis started all 34 games last season and registered 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

He earned third-team all-BIG EAST honors in 2010-11 in addition to taking home the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for men’s basketball for the second straight year. Abromaitis also has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team for men’s basketball each of the past two seasons.

Abromaitis graduated from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business with a degree in finance and a 3.73 GPA in May 2010 and earned his MBA in May 2011 after being enrolled in an intensified one-year MBA program during the 2010-11 school year.

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Natalie Novosel

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Novosel, a guard, has copped several accolades, including 2011-12 preseason honors, during her career at Notre Dame. She was named to the preseason candidate list for the John R. Wooden Women’s Award in addition to being selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.

In 2010-11, Novosel nabbed State Farm Coaches’ honorable mention All-America and first-team all-BIG EAST laurels, as well as the BIG EAST’s Most Improved Player award. She averaged a team-high 15.1 points per game in helping the Fighting Irish to the national title game.

Both Abromaitis and Novosel represented the United States this past August at the 2011 World University Games in China. Novosel helped the U.S. women to a perfect 6-0 record and the gold medal, while Abromaitis and the U.S. men posted a 7-1 mark and placed fifth. Abromaitis and Novosel also will captain their respective Fighting Irish squads this season.

For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

Men’s Basketball Candidates
Tim Abromaitis, Forward, Notre Dame
William Buford, Guard, Ohio State
Kyle Bullinger, Forward, Weber State
Scott Christopherson, Guard, Iowa State
Darnell Gant, Forward, Washington
Ashton Gibbs, Guard, Pittsburgh
Drew Gordon, Forward, New Mexico
Malcolm Grant, Guard, Miami (Florida)
Draymond Green, Forward, Michigan State
Justin Greene, Forward, Kent State
Reggie Hamilton, Guard, Oakland
Mick Hedgepeth, Forward, Belmont
Robbie Hummel, Forward, Purdue
Bernard James, Forward, Florida State
Orlando Johnson, Guard, UC Santa Barbara
Jarrod Jones, Forward, Ball State
Kevin Jones, Forward, West Virginia
Quinn McDowell, Forward, William and Mary
Darius Miller, Guard, Kentucky
Ronald Nored, Guard, Butler
Zack Novak, Guard/Forward, Michigan
Zack Rosen, Guard, Pennsylvania
Jesse Sanders, Guard, Liberty
Tanner Smith, Guard, Clemson
Jordan Taylor, Guard, Wisconsin
Erving Walker, Guard, Florida
Demetrius Ward, Guard, Western Michigan
Kyle Weems, Forward, Missouri State
Chris Wroblewski, Guard, Cornell
Tyler Zeller, Forward, North Carolina

Women’s Basketball Candidates
LaSondra Barrett, Forward, LSU
Denise Beliveau, Forward, New Hampshire
Brogan Berry, Guard, Harvard
Cierra Bravard, Forward, Florida State
Kaitlyn Burke, Guard, Nebraska
Brittany Carter, Guard, Memphis
Jalana Childs, Forward, Kansas State
Lauren Edwards, Guard, Princeton
Adaora Elonu, Forward, Texas A&M
Briana Gilbreath, Guard, Southern California
Keisha Hampton, Forward, DePaul
Jericka Jenkins, Guard, Hampton
Amanda Johnson, Forward, Oregon
Emilie Johnson, Guard, UC Santa Barbara
Glory Johnson, Forward, Tennessee
Shenise Johnson, Guard, Miami (Florida)
Michelle Kurowski, Guard, UMBC
Kristen McCarthy, Guard, Temple
Natalie Novosel, Guard, Notre Dame
Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Forward, Stanford
Chelsea Pickering, Guard, Idaho State
Abby Plucker, Forward, North Dakota State
Justine Raterman, Forward, Dayton
Brittany Rayburn, Guard, Purdue
Monique Reid, Forward, Louisville
Ericka Russell, Guard, Alabama
Naama Shafir, Guard, Toledo
Da’Shena Stevens, Forward, St. John’s (N.Y.)
Whiquitta Tobar, Guard, Alabama A&M
Corielle Yarde, Guard, Marist

–ND–