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African American Male Scholar Athletes celebrate in DC

On Saturday, February 22, 2014, at 6:00pm, The National Alliance of African American Athletes (The Alliance) will recognize another stellar group of high school athletes from across the nation for the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award. The award is presented each year to the nation's top African American male high school scholar athlete. The Watkins Award ceremony will be held at the prestigious Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, in Washington DC

The five finalists in alphabetical order are:

* Tony Brown, Beaumont, TX – Member of the National Honor Society, President of the Student Council, Volunteer for the Police Athletic League, State Record Holder for Hurdles, Texas State Gold Medalist 110 Hurdles, International Silver Medalist in 110 Hurdles in 17th Pan American Junior Championships, Gatorade Athlete of the Year, Super Gold MVP of Football, #1 Ranked Defensive Back in Texas, #1 Ranked Defensive Back in the Nation, and Under Armour All American while maintaining a 3.7 GPA at Ozen High School.

* Zavier Carmichael, Mobile, AL - President of the National Honor Society, Volunteer for Key Club, Member of National Society of High School Scholars, Volunteer for Summer Scrubs, Member of Morning Saints, Mentor for Local Youth, Recipient of the Youth Merit Award, Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, Alabama All State, Mobile Player of the Year, and Mobile All Defensive Player while maintaining a 4.2 GPA at St Paul’s Episcopal School.

* Christopher Register, Brownsummit, NC – Dudley Honors Student, Voted Dudley Mister, Voted “The Opening” Top Athlete in Oregon, Volunteer for Adopt a High-way, Member of Student Government Association, Mount Sinai Missionary, North Carolina All District, North Carolina All State, #1 Linebacker in North Carolina, North & South Carolina Shrine Bowl All American, Offense/Defense All American, while maintaining a 3.8 GPA at James Benson Dudley High School.

* Robert Okereke, Santa Ana, CA – National Achievement Scholar, Member of the California Scholarship Federation, Recipient of the Academic Award of Excellence, Principal’s Honor Roll, AP Honors Scholar, Scholar Athlete of the Year, Founder of the Black Student Union, Eagle Scout, First Team All CIF, First Team All League, Semper Fidelis Football All American while maintaining a 4.4 GPA at Foothill High School.

* Richard Yeargin, Ft Lauderdale, FL – Member of Diversity Club, Pet Care Club, Anti Bullying Committee, Volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Gentleman of Influence, Mentor for Youth Football and Basketball, Florida All Star, West Coast Bowl All Star, Front Cover of Under Armour High School Catalogue, University School Captains Award, First Team All County, First Team All State, Ranked #18 by Rivals, Ranked #32 by ESPN, Offense Defense All American, and Army All American while maintaining a 4.2 GPA at the University School of NSU.

"This year’s 2014 Watkins Award features an incredible collection of fine student athletes," Everette Pearsall, Executive Director of The Alliance, shares. “Each of these young men are well equipped for success academically. We have continued to recognize and honor the premier African American Scholar Athletes in the United States.”

Finalists are chosen based on their unweighted grade point average, their personal state-ments, extracurricular activities, community service, and letters of recommendation. Each winner will be recognized in Washington, DC, receive an award, ring, and dinner in their hometown.

Sponsors of this year’s event include Under Armour, UBS, Peoples Financial Services, Merrill Lynch, Nash Management Group, Early Morning Software, Dell, Wal-Mart, and Jostens Corporation who manufactures the Watkins Award trophy and rings.

Media representatives are invited to cover the awards ceremony. For more information about the Watkins Award, The Alliance, or to get tickets for the awards ceremony visit our website at or email


The Watkins Award has been presented annually to African American scholar-athletes since 1992. The Watkins Award is named for Franklin D. Watkins, the coach of championship football and basketball teams in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Previous award winners include Heisman Trophy Winner Jameis Winston of Florida State, Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle, Justin Blalock of the Atlanta Falcons, Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arrelious Benn of the Philadelphia Eagles. Ben Tate & DeVier Posey of the Houston Texans, Ted Ginn Jr. of the Carolina Panthers, Lorenzo Alexander of the Arizona Cardinals, Mohamed Massaquoi of the Cleveland Browns, Darnell Dinkins, formerly of the New Orleans Saints, LaVar Arrington, formerly of the Washington Redskins, Joseph Barksdale & Matt Daniels of the St. Louis Rams, Grant Irons and Ronald Curry formerly of the Oakland Raiders, and Marcedes Lewis of Jacksonville Jaguars to name a few.

The National Alliance of African American Athletes was founded in 1989. The mission of The Alliance is to empower African American males through athletics, education and public programs.

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