The importance of graduation for UK student-athletes

05/11/2015 04:22 PM

LEXINGTON — The University of Kentucky held its commencement and graduation ceremonies for the Spring 2015 semester at Rupp Arena , and good chunk of the graduates were student-athletes.

In total, 61 current and former Kentucky student-athletes walked across the stage to receive their bachelor degrees. When added to the 31 others who walked in December, UK Athletics now boasts a sum of 92 grads for 2014-15 school year.

Notable Spring graduates included first-round NFL Draft pick Bud Dupree — who flew in from the Pittsburgh Steelers Rookie training camp to be a part of the ceremonies — and current basketball player Alex Poythress.

The junior forward joins former Wildcats Patrick Patterson and Jarrod Polson as the third Calipari-coached player to graduate in just three years and even did it while rehabbing from a knee injury during his final semester.

To say Poythress was excited to graduate would be an understatement:

Me doing the Superman at Graduation!!! UK! BBN!

A photo posted by Alex Poythress (@alexthegreat22) on


Senior basketballers Tod Lanter, Brian Long, and Sam Malone were also part of the Spring 2015 class, making it 15 players who’ve graduated from the men’s basketball team over the last six years.

The KSTV crew discuss the importance of graduation for student-athletes and how it will affect their success both on and off the playing field.

Here’s the list of all the graduating student-athletes and their sports:

*Baseball: Thomas Bernal, Spencer Jack, Taylor Martin, Matt Snyder

*Men’s Basketball: Tod Lanter, Brian Long, Sam Malone, Alex Poythress

*Women’s Basketball: Azia Bishop, Bria Goss, Jennifer O’Neill, Jelleah Sidney

*Football: Steven Borden, Josh Clemons, Eric Dixon, Alvin “Bud” Dupree, Josh Forrest, Braylon Heard, Farrington Huguenin, Melvin Lewis, Ashely Lowery, Kelly Mason (note: Max Godby, who was a senior in eligibility on the 2014 team and already had earned his bachelor’s degree, has completed his master’s degree and will receive that on Saturday)

*Men’s Golf: Matthew Anderson

*Women’s Golf: Heather Lott

*Gymnastics: Alexis Gross, Kayla Hartley

*Rifle: Elijah Ellis, Cody Manning, John Sutton

*Women’s Soccer: Emma Brown, Madeleine Lockridge, Taylor Mogel

*Softball: Ginny Carroll, Kara Howard, Griffin Joiner

*Men’s Swimming: Rob Resch

*Women’s Swimming: Kate Jones, Katrina Keirns, Blair Kuethe, Taylor Melton

*Men’s Tennis: Brett Johnson, Charles Minc

*Women’s Tennis: Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff, Grace Trimble, CeCe Witten

*Men’s Track and Field: Terence Boyd, Raymond Dykstra, Keffri Neal, Jared Phillips, Brad Szypka

*Women’s Track and Field: Dominique Booker, Dezerea Bryant, Michelle Canterna, Rebecca Famurewa, Kenyattia Hackworth, Kendra Harrison, Joanne Imbert, Leah Nugent, Morganne Phillips, Keilah Tyson, Angelica Whaley

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