June 5, 2008
WACO, Texas -
Baylor basketball center Mamadou Diene has been honored as a 2008 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award winner by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A).
Diene is one of five award recipients scheduled to be honored Sunday, June 8, at a banquet in Kansas City, Mo. Joining Diene in the Rudolph Award class of 2008 are Megan Helton of Louisville (tennis), Patience Knight of Texas Tech (track and field), Diane Nukuri of Iowa (track and field) and Edwin Williams of Maryland (football).
The award is intended to honor student athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.
A native of Senegal, Diene was orphaned at a young age and raised by older sisters. He is the first member of his family to attend college.
On the court, Diene helped lead Baylor to a turnaround season in 2007-08 in which the Bears earned their first national ranking in 39 years and made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 20 years. Diene, who is nicknamed "The Mayor" due to his overwhelming popularity on campus, averaged 3.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and led the Big 12 in blocks in conference games with a 2.1 average. His 120 career blocks and 1.82 career blocks average both rank second in school history.
Diene was recently named the 2008 Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year. He is a member of Baylor's Student-Athlete Advisory Council and previously participated in the 2006 NCAA Leadership Conference.
The Rudolph Award is named after the former track and field standout. Rudolph became the first American female athlete to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. At the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome, she won gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100-meter relay.