ROME, Ga. - The Southern States Athletic Conference announced last week that Loyola University New Orleans senior Keiva Council is the conference’s 2012 nomination for the Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award. Council was chosen to represent the conference’s 15 member institutions.
The award, considered one of the most prestigious in the NAIA, honors a student-athlete who excels in athletics and academics and is committed to the Champions of Character program’s five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. The NAIA’s flagship character initiative is designed to instill an understanding of character values in sport and provide student-athletes, coaches, and parents the training to help them know and do the right things, inside and outside the sports setting. Champions of Character is dedicated to the principle that character is a choice and that being a champion is about reaching your potential and making good decisions consistently in daily life.
Council, a 5-8 All-Conference guard, epitomizes the Loyola ’s mission of educating the whole person: mind, body and spirit. As an academic and athletic standout, Council is currently pursing the Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a minor in criminal justice. She has earned Dean’s List status in four semesters. Council is also a member of multiple academic honor societies that include Phi Eta Sigma (National Honor Society for first-year students), Alpha Phi Sigma (National Criminal Justice Honor Society), and Alpha Kappa Delta (International Sociology Honor Society). This year, Council was one of 50 honorees in the country to be selected to the WBCA’s “I Want to be a Coach” Progam.
Council’s accolades on the court include NAIA State Farm Coaches’ All-American (2011), NAIA Division I All-American Honorable Mention (2011), NAIA Scholar Athlete (2011), WBCA All-American (2011), National All-Jesuit Women’s Basketball Team (2011), Jesuit All-Academic Honorable Mention, 2nd Team All-Louisiana, and a two-time SSAC All-Conference honoree (2011,2012). In addition Council was named the NAIA Player of the Week (Jan. 2-Jan.8 2012), a Preseason All-Jesuit Team Member (2011), the LSWA Player of the Month (Nov. 2011), and the Allstate Sugar Bolw’s Greater New Orleans Area Player of the Month (Jan. 2012). Over the course of her career, she is also a five-time Jesuit Honor Roll Honoree, a three-time Jesuit Player of the Week, a two-time LSWA Player of the Week, and a two time SSAC Player of the Week.
Even with Council’s studies and rigorous basketball schedule, she finds time to tutor inner city youth and young adults through the Louisiana Green Corps and the North Rampart Community Center. She also volunteers with the Crescent House helping victims of domestic violence as well as with the Kingsley House organizing basketball clinics for inner city youth.
“She is so deserving of this award,” said head coach Kellie Kennedy. “This is not just a basketball award. It is also for her achievements on the court, in the classroom, and service in our community. She has had such a great career and been a great ambassador for Loyola.”
As one of the most decorated women’s basketball player in Loyola program history, Council arrives at practice everyday wanting and demanding to get better. Her coach says she is the hardest wo
rking player and sets the tone for a great competitive atmosphere. She challenges herself on the court, during conditioning and obtains knowledge to better understand how to compete at an even higher level
“Being nominated for this award says so much about her and says so much about Loyola,” added Kennedy. “Words cannot describe how proud of her I am.”
Council leads the Wolfpack in scoring (22.7 ppg), assists (3.6 apg), and steals (2.1 spg). She currently ranks nationally in the NAIA in an incredible eight categoires: 2nd in points per game (22.7), 3rd in total scoring (635), 15th in three-point field gals made per game (2.3), 22nd in total three-point field goals made (65), 29th in defensive rebounds per game (5.9), 33rd in three-point field goal percentage (36.1 percent), 42nd in field goal percentage (44.5 percent), and 47th in assists per game. Council also ranks third on Loyola’s career scoring list with 1,810 career points as well as third in individual season scoring with 635 points this year.
This award is named after Dr. Walker, President emeritus of the United States Olympic Committee who served as president thorough the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games. Dr. Walker is a graduate of Beneict College (S.C.) and is a former president of the NAIA. It is the second consecutive year that a student athlete from Loyola has represented the SSAC for the Walker Award with men’s basketball player Darrinton Moncrieffe selection last year.