Back in March, departing LSU basketball star Skylar Mays landed on the CoSIDA Academic All-American team for the third year in a row, and for the first time, was singled out as the top team member of the group.
We recognized Mays and the rare air he was in, not knowing that just four days later Governor Edwards would shut down much of the state of Louisiana.
That seems like a different lifetime ago. A world before masks.
Now Mays is in even more exclusive company. On Tuesday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey announced that the Baton Rouge native has been named one of the 2020 H Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship winner is chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities. The award has been presented by the SEC since 1986 to the league’s top male and female scholar-athletes. The 2020 female winner is swimmer Asia Seidt from Kentucky.
The SEC provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients with a $20,000 post-graduate scholarship.
“Asia and Skylar are outstanding representatives of student-athletes from across the SEC. They made a commitment to the total student-athlete experience, which resulted in their excellence in competition and in the classroom,” Sankey said. “The H Boyd McWhorter Award is the highest honor earned by a student-athlete in the SEC and I congratulate both of them, along with their families and universities, on their outstanding achievements.”
Mays is LSU’s seventh overall winner of the McWhorter Scholarship Award since it was established in 1986. It is only the third time that an SEC men’s basketball player has bagged the honor.
LSU H. Boyd McWhorter Award Winners
Michael Olander, Track and Field – 1988
Michael Blanchard, Football – 1995
Martin Nyberg, Swimming – 1996
Lisette Lee, Golf – 2000
Rudy Niswanger, Football – 2006
Kelly Quinn, Volleyball – 2018
Skylar Mays, Basketball – 2020
Mays, a kinesiology major with a concentration in human movement and pre-med, was also named to the Academic All-America First Team in 2018-19, and landed on the second team in 2017-18. He earned a 3.93 GPA in his time at LSU.
On the court, he led the Tigers in scoring at 16.7 points per game this past season, which followed his 11.3 points as a sophomore and 13.6 points as a junior. He is the only player in school history to rack up 1,600 points, 400 rebounds, 300 assists, and 200 steals.
And he accomplished it all after being just a two-star recruit coming out of high school.
“Skylar is a tremendous example of someone who excels both on and off the court,” said LSU head basketball coach Will Wade. “We have been very fortunate to have coached Skylar his last three years, and his work ethic and ability to persevere through difficult times makes him an outstanding choice for this award. He has a wonderful family, and Skylar has a bright future in basketball and in his educational opportunities when that time comes.”
Skylar Mays is the type of individual all young athletes should aspire to be like. Congratulations, Skylar. You have made LSU and the state of Louisiana proud.