Francis Marion University junior women's basketball player Briana Burgins has earned an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports-Scholar Award for 2017. The honor is presented by Diverse magazine, a publication that addresses issues in higher education.
The High Point, N.C., native was named to the fourth-team for women's basketball. The 131 women's hoop players recognized were from all division of competition, and Burgins was the only women's student-athlete from the Peach Belt Conference to appear on any of the 19 sports recognized by the magazine.
A biology major, Burgins has registered a cumulative grade point average of 3.39. She has twice been named to the PBC All-Academic Team and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. She has served on the university's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for each of the past two years and was an FMU Diplomat in 2014-15. She has been named to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll each of her first two years and been recognized on the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll five times.
"Earning this award is a humbling accomplishment," Burgins said. "You grow up hearing about these awards on television and seeing other well-known athletes such as Kara Lawson from the University of Tennessee and Nigel Williams-Goss from Gonzaga University receiving this award, and then to know you are among them is a great feeling. I am extremely proud and blessed to represent Francis Marion University with such an honor."
A three-year starter, Burgins led the Patriots in rebounding (8.1 rpg), steals (71), and minutes played (36.0 per game) this past season, while ranking third in scoring (12.5 ppg). She led the FMU regulars in field goal accuracy (43.9%).
The 5-8 forward helped lead the Patriots to an 18-12 record, a second-place finish in the PBC's East Division, and an appearance in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
As a sophomore, Burgins was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2016 NCAA II Southeast Regional and went on to score a career-high 29 points in the squad's NCAA Elite Eight loss. She has career totals of 889 points and 633 rebounds in 88 games.
Burgins is a product of Southwest Guilford High School, where she was a two-time All-Conference pick.