Four Blinn Student-Athletes Named Atkinson Cup Award Winners

Four Blinn Student-Athletes Named Atkinson Cup Award Winners

The Blinn College District has named a record-breaking four student-athletes the winners of the 2021 Dr. James H. Atkinson Cup after they maintained the highest cumulative grade point average in the athletic department. 

Blinn dance team member Jamia Smith (Houston), women’s basketball player Hailey Atwood (Austin), men’s soccer player Ethan Unger (Frisco), and softball player Emily Murphy (Round Rock) maintained perfect 4.0 grade point averages (GPA) throughout two years at Blinn. 

“The athletic department is excited to honor these four exceptional student-athletes,” said Scott Schumacher, Athletic Director. “To maintain a perfect 4.0 grade point average over two years while participating in athletics takes extraordinary dedication. The future is very bright for these student-athletes.” 

Smith helped the Blinn dance team earn its eighth straight national championship at the 2021 National Cheer Association & National Dance Association Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships. Blinn took first place in Team Performance in the junior college division with a score of 93.96 over McLennan Community College (91.9) to earn Blinn’s 42nd NJCAA national championship. Next year, Smith will continue her academic and athletic career at The University of Texas at Arlington. 

Atwood helped the Blinn women’s basketball team post an impressive 43-13 record in two years and lead the Buccaneers to the NJCAA Region XIV Tournament as a nationally ranked team in each of the last two seasons. Atwood was named a first-team All-American, Region XIV Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, and Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Player of the Year after finishing eighth in the nation with 443 total points in 24 games. Atwood signed with the University of Texas at San Antonio to continue her academic and athletic career. 

Unger helped lead the Blinn men’s soccer team to the Region XIV Tournament appearances in each of the last two seasons. In two years at Blinn, Unger played 31 games, started 27, and recorded five goals and nine assists. As a freshman, he led the Buccaneers with seven assists. This season, Unger tied for second on the team and seventh in the region with four goals and put up a .444 shooting percentage.  

Murphy earned second-team all-region and first-team all-conference honors after helping lead the Blinn softball team to the Region XIV Tournament this season. In two years at Blinn, Murphy had 38 hits, scored 15 runs and drove in 17 runs in 117 at-bats. This season, she tied for fourth on the team with 35 hits, posted the fourth highest batting average (.354), and shared the team lead with 10 walks. 

Sponsored by the Buccaneer Alumni Lettermen Association, the Atkinson Cup was founded in 2000 to honor the sophomore student-athlete with the highest GPA in a minimum of 48 transferable hours. The award is named for the late Dr. James H. Atkinson, former Blinn athletic director and president. 

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 42 NJCAA national championships since 1987.