Xavier’s Angela Charles-Alfred Selected as Top Female Amateur Athlete in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (May 21, 2020) – Angela Charles-Alfred, an All-American tennis player for Xavier University, has been selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Female Amateur Athlete of the Year. The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selects annual award winners in a variety of categories; it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year’s Hall of Fame class. Overall, 24 individuals and four teams will be honored for their 2019-20 achievements. Honorees are being announced over a period of 24 days, wrapping up with the Corbett Awards for the top male and female amateur athletes in the state on June 10 and 11.
Charles-Alfred earned NAIA All-America honors for the third straight season as she closed the COVID-19-abbreviated 2020 season with the No. 10 singles ranking in the country. She teamed with freshman Lailaa Bashir to be ranked No. 1 among small college doubles teams. The duo won four doubles titles during the fall: HBCU National Championships, ITA NAIA South Regional, ITA Cup NAIA and ITA Cup Small College. They also registered wins against UCLA (No. 37 in the NCAA) and South Alabama. For the year, Charles produced 15 singles wins and 25 doubles victories for the Gold Nuggets, who ranked third nationally.
“I am really happy and proud to be a Xavierite winning this award,” Charles-Alfred said. “Nothing would be possible without my family, my teammates and coach (Alan) Green. It has been a tough year with this pandemic, but we did a good job with the team. I am preparing already to be ready for the next year and do even better. I thank God for everything.”
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has presented annual awards to amateur athletes in the region since 1958 – Charles-Alfred is the first Xavier University athlete to be honored. Her coach, Alan Green, was honored by the group as Louisiana’s top collegiate coach in 2016.
“Angela put together a great season despite it being cut short,” Green said. “I challenged her to be more of a leader and embrace being the one who the team could look up to this season. She accepted the challenge and went even further by joining the XULA-ASA (Association of Student-Athletes). I couldn’t be more proud of the player and person Angela has become since coming to Xavier.”
The other finalists for Greater New Orleans Female Amateur Athlete of the Year were Jerkaila Jordan (John Curtis Basketball), Arina Kleshchukova (UNO Track & Field) and Kai Williams (Cabrini Volleyball). Jordan, the Gatorade Player of the Year in Louisiana, earned Most Outstanding Player honors for the fourth consecutive year in a state championship game for John Curtis, an unprecedented accomplishment. She led Curtis to a 27-4 record, averaging 21.8 points, 3.1 assists, 3.1 steals and two blocks per game. Kleshchukova won the Southland Conference Cross Country Championship and the Southland’s 5,000-meter indoor track championship as she was named the league’s Women’s Runner of the Year. She was also named the Louisiana Runner of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. Williams led the Crescents to the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division III state championship – their first state title since 2008. The senior finished with a team-high 447 kills and 398 digs along with 53 blocks and 37 aces.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will continue announcing its annual awards tomorrow (Friday) as the Greater New Orleans Male Amateur Athlete of the Year will be released at 10 a.m.
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Lakenya Reed, Booker T. Washington Basketball
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Nick Monica, Archbishop Rummel Football
Outstanding Female Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Angela Charles-Alfred, Xavier University Tennis
Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: May 22 (Friday)
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Team, New Orleans: May 27 (Wednesday)
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Team, New Orleans: May 28 (Thursday)
Outstanding Collegiate Coach, Louisiana: May 29 (Friday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: June 1 (Monday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: June 3 (Wednesday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: June 4 (Thursday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: June 5 (Friday)
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: June 8 (Monday)
Jimmy Collins Special Awards: June 9 (Tuesday)
Eddie Robinson Award: June 10 (Wednesday)
Corbett Award – Female: June 11 (Thursday)
Corbett Award – Male: June 12 (Friday)
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee began in 1957 when James Collins spearheaded a group of sports journalists to form a sports awards committee to immortalize local sports history. For 13 years, the committee honored local athletes each month. In 1970, the Sugar Bowl stepped in to sponsor and revitalize the committee, leading to the creation of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in 1971, honoring 10 legends from the Crescent City in its first induction class. While adding the responsibility of selecting Hall of Famers, the committee has continued to recognize the top amateur athlete in the Greater New Orleans area each month – the honors enter their 64th year in 2020. To be eligible, an athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 96 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 87th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2021. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors over 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade.