Via UNC press release:
University of North Carolina senior guard Marcus Paige is the 2016 recipient of the Skip Prosser Award, which is presented to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s top scholar-athlete for men’s basketball. Paige also won the Prosser Award in 2015.
UNC’s Tyler Zeller is the only other two-time winner of the Prosser Award, which is in its ninth year. Zeller won the award in 2011 and 2012.
UNC freshman forward Luke Maye joins Paige on the 2016 Academic All-ACC team. Paige made the Academic All-ACC for the fourth time, joining Henrik Rodl (1990-93) and Zeller (2009-12) as the only four-time selections in UNC history.
To be eligible for consideration for the Academic All-ACC team, a player must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his academic career.
The Skip Prosser Award is named in memory of Wake Forest head coach George Edward “Skip” Prosser, who passed away on July 26, 2007. Prosser compiled a 291-146 career record in 14 seasons as a head coach, including a 126-68 mark in his six years with Wake Forest. Every Wake Forest senior he coached graduated, and the Deacons placed nine players on the annual All-ACC Academic Basketball Team during his tenure.
To be nominated for the Skip Prosser Award, a student-athlete must be an upperclassman with a grade-point average of 3.0 or better – both in his career and in the previous two semesters. Sixty percent of the award is based on academic achievement and 40 percent on athletic accomplishments.
Previous Skip Prosser Award recipients include Clemson guard Cliff Hammonds (2008), Miami guard Jack McClinton (2009), Virginia center Jerome Meyinsse (2010), Zeller (2011 and 2012), Duke center Mason Plumlee (2013), Pittsburgh guard Cameron Wright (2014) and Paige (2015).
A 6-1, 175-pound senior from Marion, Iowa, Paige is double majoring in media and journalism/history. He ranks first among current ACC players in career points (1,706), three-point field goals (272) and steals (192), and second in assists (563) and free throw percentage (.847). He is averaging 12.1 points and has 89 assists this season.
“Marcus has accepted and met the challenges of succeeding both academically at a world-class university and athletically in the finest basketball conference in the country,” said Carolina head coach Roy Williams. “He has played outstanding basketball and been a tremendous leader for our team for four seasons, while also embracing the academic rigors and opportunities that a great university offers. He is a young man who put his mind to succeeding at, not just one, but two majors and has done so while representing our university with class and distinction. Skip Prosser would be proud to have Marcus’s name on his award in each of the last two seasons.”
Paige continues to be an ideal representative of the University of North Carolina at a time when Carolina really, really needed one. With the fallout of the academic scandal in full force, Paige became the face of the basketball team and the perfect foil to those who wanted to make jokes about UNC student-athletes and academics.
Congrats to Paige for this award and to Luke Maye for also being named to the Academic All-ACC team.