Student-Athletes Making the Most of their Opportunity at a CA Community College


Each Year the California Community College Athletic Association recognizes a male and female student athlete for their excellence in athletics and academics. Considered the most prestigious award offered by the Association, nominees are selected from among the 27,000 student athletes participating annually. In addition, the California Community College Counselors/Advisors Academic Association for Athletics (3C4A) annually selects award winners that have overcome significant personal and/or family challenges and in spite of all of the obstacles have succeeded. The link below shows examples of previous award winners who not only represent the outstanding scholars that chose to initially enroll at California Community Colleges but also those that have taken advantage of the opportunities provided by a system that can fulfill the dreams for those willing to accept the challenge. 

CCCAA Scholar Athlete and 3C4A Achievement Award Recipients



NU's Stafford Gets Past Bumps On Road To Success

Former Chaffey College safety, Damien Stafford, has overcome a lot in his life to go to college and earn a scholarship with the Nebraska Huskers. Going into his senior season, Stafford is looking for an NFL deal after earning his degree. Full Story


Mission's Felicia Anderson Named All-State

Having grown up with violence, drugs, and poverty in East Palo Alto, Mission College freshman Felicia Anderson is hoping to become a social worker, with a goal of mentoring youth and helping others who may face situations similar to hers.

Averaging 22.4 points per game, Anderson was named to the 2011-2012 California Community College Association All-State team, as voted upon by coaches. She’s Mission College’s first-ever All-State basketball selection. Full Story


NFL Prospect's Story Awaits An Ending

West Virginia's Bruce Irvin, a high-school dropout who took to the streets, turned his life around so he could play college football. His football career as a defensive end began to take off at Mt. San Antonio College where he became one of the top out-of-nowhere recruits in the nation.
Full Story


Diablo Valley's Brian Goins finds a home at Diablo Valley College. This young student-athlete comes from living on the streets with no high school education to being a star on the DVC men's basketball team with scholarship offers to four-year schools.


Arnaldo Salazar, SRJC's comeback kid

Soaring for headers or banging into opponents, Arnaldo Salazar plays soccer with no fear despite doctors' warnings to drop his passion. After narrowly surviving a car accident two years ago, Salazar has a new perspective on life, his education and a love for the game, hoping to take his talents to the four year level next season. Full Story


Packers rookie Smithson prepared all his life for this role

Shaky Smithson survived his childhood in Baltimore, growing up in a tough neighborhood and avoiding the temptations of the inner city life. He left his hometown to play football at East Los Angeles College, then moved to Salt Lake City to play at the University of Utah. He legally adopted his brother and moved him to Utah in order to get him away from the difficult teen years that he experienced. Now, Shaky is playing for a spot on the defending Super Bowl Championship Green Bay Packers. Full Story


It took a village to raise him, and now he's a lawyer

Despite growing up in 20 foster homes and being warned that he would end up in prison one day, Tyrone Wilson, 28, of Tulare was sworn in last week as a member of the State Bar of California.

Ten years ago, he was a football player at Tulare Western High School, played at Fresno City College for two years and then at the University of Buffalo in New York, where he graduated with a degree in African-American studies. He graduated from the Buffalo Law School in 2009. Full Story


The Comeback

From alcohol and drugs to sirens and strip clubs, Katie Cotta strayed so far from softball she didn't know how to go back.

"I always loved softball," Cotta said, pausing as her eyes began to burst with tears. "I thought about playing every day, but sometimes people don't make the best decisions at young ages..."

Now, five years later and 38 games into a storybook return with the undefeated Delta College softball team, Cotta swears she's ready to go back to the state championships.
Full Story


Worth the Wait

Four years ago as a senior at Warren High, Liz Javier was like all of the friends she'd grown up with on the high school and travel ball softball circuit: She had aspirations of turning those softball skills into a college scholarship. And Javier received plenty of recruiting letters and questionnaires while being selected the San Gabriel Valley League's Most Valuable Player three times and earning spots on the All-CIF Southern Section and Press-Telegram Dream Team squad. 
While those softball friends were landing scholarships and preparing to move into college dormitories, however, Javier was coming to grips with her academic and softball futures while sitting in the bedroom of her Downey home. 

"It just didn't work out, academically - my SAT was not high enough," the Long Beach State senior third baseman said earlier this week. Full Story


Ennis: Epitome of Playing Hard

James Ennis, the Male Athlete of the Winter Season, didn't just finish ninth in the state in scoring (20.3 points per game); he showcased his all-around game by finishing the season ranked in all eight statistical categories provided by the state.

But Ennis was most proud of his performance in the classroom this year. His efforts ultimately earned him a scholarship to play for Long Beach State.

"I had to do a lot of work in school and I got it done," said Ennis.

"That was the hardest work I had to do in my life ... It was a good learning experience for me."Full Story

In Season To Forget, Walker-Brown Someone To Remember

Game day starts at 6:30 a.m. for Ebonie Walker-Brown, her to-do list longer than her vertical leap. She's been "through hell" in her 27 years, but now her focus stays sharply on basketball ... and her children ... and her 23.5 unit course load ... and her future, one of scrubs and stethoscopes — the attire of a high school dropout turned nurse. Full Story


Scholarly Discovery

Looking back, Justin Bricker doesn’t really remember putting an effort into his high school studies. Three years after restructuring his life and transforming his future, Bricker, having completed one of the more remarkable student-athlete careers in Oxnard College’s history, will transfer to Stanford next month to study electrical engineering.

“Once I realized I was able to get that kind of reward, I took advantage of it,” said Bricker. 
Full Story


Making the Grade

From dawn to dusk, Jackie Sizemore stays busy. The Yuba College freshman is taking 19 units this spring semester and earned a 3.9 grade point average last fall. She also starts at shortstop on the 49ers' softball team. "I have a daily planner," said Sizemore, a Sutter Union High School graduate. "It's been crazy, sometimes, like when it comes to tests, comes to papers and everything is due at one time. Social life is very minimal, and I just concentrate." Full Story

COM team helps Waters battle addiction through competition

Aaron Waters will be the first to tell you - he owes far more than his swimming technique and prowess to College of Marin coach Warren Lager.

Waters, a Drake High alum and the top swimmer on this year's Mariners squad, saw a bright, burgeoning swimming career that had already netted him a college scholarship begin to sink as a high school senior. The culprits: drugs and alcohol. Full Story