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Penn State Athletics: Stevens and Rivers Named Students-Athletes of the Year

by on June 03, 2020 3:00 PM

Penn State Athletics announced its Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year on Wednesday with NCAA track champion Danae Rivers and men’s basketball standout Lamar Stevens taking home the honors.

Rivers is the third member of the women’s cross country and track & field program to earn Female Student-Athlete of the Year, joining Kim McGreevy, who was the recipient in 1996-97, and Shana Cox, who won the award in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Stevens becomes the fourth Nittany Lion basketball student-athlete to earn male honors, joining Pete Lisicky (1997-98), Joe Crispin (2000-01) and Talor Battle (2010-11). Penn State began awarding Student-Athlete of the Year honors in 1991-92.

Ally McHugh (women’s swimming) and Bo Nickal (wrestling) were Penn State’s 2018-19 honorees. 

Danae Rivers

Rivers became the first female student-athlete in the history of the Big Ten to win four consecutive 800m Big Ten Indoor Championships on February 29, 2020. Rivers ran 2:06.27 to capture her fourth title in the 800m. Along with her 800m title, Rivers also won the Big Ten title in the mile event. Rivers completed her indoor career with six Big Ten titles and was a three-time All-American. Rivers had qualified for her fourth NCAA Indoor Championships prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic cancelling the Championships

Rivers set 11 Penn State school records, was a nine-time USTFCCCA first-team All-American, a 10-time Big Ten Champion, a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a three-time Mid-Atlantic Regional Women’s Track Athlete of the Year. In addition, she set the collegiate record in the 1,000m run with a time of 2:38.58 at the Nittany Lion Challenge in 2019. She was also the 2019 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 800m to become the first individual women’s national champion in program history.  

Lamar Stevens

Stevens returned for his senior campaign to lead the 2019-20 Nittany Lions to 21 wins, 11 Big Ten Conference wins and their first Associated Press poll ranking since 1996. Stevens helped position Penn State for an NCAA Tournament berth as the Nittany Lions reeled off a program record eight-game win streak in league play and held a No. 9 national ranking.

A two-time first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection, Stevens started all 135 games in his career with 115 double-figure scoring games and 4,532 career minutes played. 

Stevens was one of only two Nittany Lions in program history with more than 2,000 career points and 800 career rebounds. With the cancellation of the Big Ten Tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his career came to an end with 2,207 points, ranked No. 2 on the program’s all-time scoring list.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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