Dec. 18, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior receiver Arnaz Battle has been named the 2002 Sportsperson of the Year by the Independence Bowl Foundation in his hometown of Shreveport, La. Battle will be honored on Thursday, Dec. 26 at the Minuteman Luncheon as part of the MainStay Independence Bowl festivities.
Battle, who because of Notre Dame’s participation in the 2003 Gator Bowl will not be able to accept the award in person, joins the likes of other distinguished Louisiana natives who have won the award in the past including professional golfers Hal Sutton and David Toms, motorcycle champion Freddie Spencer, CBS sportscaster Tim Brando and 2001 women’s United States amateur golf champion Meredith Duncan. Duncan actually graduated with Battle from C.E. Byrd High School in 1999, as both were voted “Most Likely To Succeed” by their classmates.
“This is a tremendous honor for me,” Battle says.
“I have to thank God first and foremost. I also want to thank my family, who without them this would not have been possible, and all of my coaches and teachers at C.E. Byrd High School. It means a lot to me be considered in such company and I am disappointed I will not be able to accept the award in person.”
Battle has been a leader for the Irish in 2002 as he has 48 catches for 702 yards and five touchdown passes. His 48 catches this season currently tie him for fifth on the Notre Dame single-season receptions list. Battle was also named the 2002 Westwood One/State Farm Student-Athlete of the Year for the Irish and was voted a team captain by his teammates.