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Townsend Selected As Senior CLASS Award Candidate

Matt Townsend (Steve Musco photo)
Matt Townsend (Steve Musco photo)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Matt Townsend is one of 30 candidates for the 2014-15 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate men's basketball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

Townsend has certainly shined in all of those areas. Earlier this year, he was the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship, one of only 32 awarded across the nation. Last year, he was elected to the Yale Phi Beta Kappa society, one of only eight juniors at Yale selected. A molecular, cellular and developmental biology major, Townsend was a third team Academic All-America selection last year.

On the court, Townsend has appeared in 97 games for the Bulldogs, including making 55 starts. This season, he has started 16 games and is fourth on the team in scoring at 8.2 ppg.

Off the court, Townsend serves as the co-coordinator of Yale's Bringing Relief Every Day (BRED) program, which is part of the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. He collects leftover bread and baked goods from Yale's dining halls once a week and delivers them to two New Haven halfway houses. In the summer of 2013, Townsend volunteered as a camp counselor at Camp Oasis, a week-long summer sleep-away camp for kids with inflammatory bowel disease and volunteered for 10 weeks in the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department, assisting the anesthesiology team. In the summer of 2012, Townsend volunteered in Yale-New Haven Hospital's emergency department, playing games with young patients and their families.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. 

The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2015 NCAA Men's Final Four®.

Each of the 30 candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. 

For more information on each of the candidates, visit

Report filed by Tim Bennett (, Yale Sports Publicity