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17 Wildcats Chosen for Frank G. Ham Society of Character

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky Athletics inducted 17 student-athletes into the Frank G. Ham Society of Character on Tuesday at a dinner prior to Kentucky’s men’s basketball game against Ole Miss.

The student-athletes were recognized on the court at Rupp Arena at halftime of the basketball game. In addition to this year’s honorees, nine members from the 2021 class also were introduced. Because of Covid protocols in place a year ago, a dinner was not held for the 2021 class.

The Society of Character annually honors Wildcats who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. The SOC was founded during the 1998-99 school year and is named for Ham, a longtime UK administrator.

The following is an alphabetized list of this year’s induction class and highlights of their accomplishments.

Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald, Football

  • Three-year letterwinner who played in 30 games with nine starts in his Wildcat career

  • Totaled 16 career tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup

  • Two-time member of the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team

  • Three-time member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll

  • Participated in the 2020 Fellowship of Christian Athlete's Men's Conference at Southland Christian Church

  • Graduated in May of 2021 with a degree in communication and hopes to have his own talk show one day

Jaci Babbs, Softball

  • Hit .348 in 2021 with 15 runs scored

  • Nine career stolen bases

  • SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll member

  • Actively involved in FCA

  • Pinch runner for Kentucky’s 2021 run to the NCAA Super Regionals

  • Majoring in analytics, goal of working as an operations analyst in major league baseball

Kyle Barker, Men's Swimming & Diving

  • School record holder in the 200 breaststroke, also ranking third in the 200 IM and fifth in the 400 IM

  • Nine-time SEC Championship finalist

  • Olympic Trials qualifier

  • Three-time CSCAA Scholar All-America Honorable Mention

  • Three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection

  • Kinesiology major who has plans to become a physical therapist

Maddie Berezowitz, Volleyball

  • Member of 2020-21 NCAA National Champion team

  • Vocal leader in the locker room and on the court

  • NCAA Elite 90 winner for highest grade-point average at the 2020-21 NCAA Final Four

  • SEC Academic Honor Roll member

  • Appeared in 16 matches for UK in 2021

  • Has been doing internships in the financial world as she plans a career in that area

Emmy Blane, Softball

  • Starting second baseman for 2021 NCAA Super Regional team

  • Defensive ace for UK as one of its premier middle infielders

  • Has appeared in over 90 games for UK

  • SEC Academic Honor Roll and SEC First-Year Honor Roll

  • Active member of FCA

  • Plans to go to law school with the goal of becoming a human-rights attorney

Brennan Canada, Men’s Basketball

  • Three-year member of the men’s basketball team

  • Valuable practice contributor who also has played in 15 games during his career

  • Has made the Dean’s List and SEC Academic Honor Roll

  • Plans to graduate in the summer and begin working on a masters degree or graduate certificate in the fall

  • Enjoys working with young players and has been a volunteer coach at youth camps

  • Would like to be a basketball coach as a profession

Sophie Carrier, Women’s Track & Field

  • Two-time SEC Cross Country top 50 finisher

  • Four-time NCAA Southeast Regional competitor

  • Runs the 3000- and 5,000-meter during indoor and outdoor season - has competed in both in SEC Championships

  • Does student teaching each weekday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., then practices on her own

  • Wants to teach kindergarten when she has her own classroom and also aspires to be a youth cross country coach

  • Volunteer coach with the Liberty Elementary Cross Country team

Richard Clark, Rifle

  • Having a great senior season with the No. 2 Kentucky rifle team, averaging 585.1 in smallbore and 594 in air rifle

  • Helped the team win the 2022 GARC regular season and tournament championships and was named second-team All-GARC

  • Is currently averaging a 1179.1 aggregate this season, which ranks third on the team

  • Recorded career highs in air rifle and smallbore this year with a 598 in air rifle at Army and 592 in smallbore at Murray State

  • Helped UK set a NCAA record team aggregate score this season with a strong showing against NC State

  • Was All-GARC Smallbore Honorable Mention last season, helping Kentucky to its third national championship in program history

  • Considering multiple career paths, including earning an MBA, going to dental school or becoming a coach

Riley Gaines, Women's Swimming & Diving

  • 2022 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year

  • SEC record holder in 200 fly, four-time SEC champion and 2021 NCAA silver medalist in 800 free relay

  • All-SEC First Team in 2021 and 2022 and five-time All-America selection

  • Owns the school record in the 100 free, 200 free, 200 fly and contributed to the 200 medley, 400 free and 800 free relay records

  • Three-time CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team and three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll

  • Human Health Sciences major with plans to attend dental school

Izzy Gati, Women's Swimming & Diving

  • 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-District At-Large Team

  • Three-time CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team and three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll

  • All-SEC First Team in 2021, All-SEC Second Team in 2020 and All-SEC Freshman Team in 2019

  • Six-time All-America honoree and 2021 NCAA silver medalist in 800 free relay

  • School record holder as a member of the 200 and 400 medley relays, also ranking second in the 100 fly and third in the 200 fly

  • Kinesiology major who has plans to become a physical therapist

Daniel Harper, Baseball

  • Has made 74 career appearances and needs 30 in 2022 to set the all-time UK record

  • Enters the 2022 season with a career record of 11-6 with two saves

  • Four-time member of the SEC Honor Roll

  • CoSIDA Academic All-District

  • Has made the UK Dean’s List six times

  • Plans to attend law school

Kenneth Horsey, Football

  • Has played in 25 career games with 21 starts and is a key cog on the "Big Blue Wall" who has been recognized for the Joe Moore Award, given to the nation's top offensive line, four straight seasons, including finalists in 2021

  • One of 11 FBS players named to the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his volunteer work with the American Heart Association

  • Received the 2021 Central Kentucky American Heart Association's Finn Collier Service Award for his volunteer work in helping spread heart health awareness

  • Named to the 2021 SEC Community Service Team

  • 2020 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award, returning to play after having open-heart surgery in 2018

  • Graduated on December 17, 2021 with a degree in communication and aspires to one day become a coach

Olivia Owens

Olivia Owens, Women’s Basketball

  • Was named to the SEC Community Service Team in 2022 for all her hard work and dedication in the Lexington community

  • Played in 25 games this season for Kentucky, including nine starts

  • Averaging 3.5 points per game with 3.2 rebounds per game

  • Best game this season vs. USC Upstate with seven points and eight rebounds, adding a block

  • Played in 25 games with five starts last season, averaging 4.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, scoring 10 or more points twice during the year

  • Goal of enrolling in a joint program to earn a law degree and MBA

Kelly Rodriguez, Women's Swimming & Diving

  • Selected to represent UK at the SEC Career Tour in 2021

  • Three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection

  • Member of the 2021 SEC Women's Swimming & Diving Championship team

  • Team representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

  • Media and marketing chair of UK's Dam Worth It initiative

  • Marketing major who plans on attending law school

Tatum Spangler, Softball

  • 2.44 ERA in 2021 and batted .344 with 53 base hits

  • Hit two home runs in 2021 with 23 RBI, both career highs

  • Studying to be a veterinarian

  • 37 runs scored in 2021, more than doubling her career high

  • SEC First-Year Honor Roll and SEC Academic Honor Roll member

  • Active member of FCA

Jaden Thompson, Rifle

  • 2.44 ERA in 2021 and batted .344 with 53 base hits

  • Having a great junior season for Kentucky, performing very well in every match in which she has participated

  • Averaging a 579.25 in smallbore and 589.125 in air rifle for an aggregate score of 1168.375

  • Scored a season-high 595 in air rifle against Navy this season and a season-best 585 in smallbore vs. Morehead State

  • Was named the GARC Scholar-Athlete of the Year last season

  • Helped Kentucky win its third national championship with a 592 in air rifle

Raena Worley, Gymnastics

  • 2021 WCGA All-Around All-American

  • Scored a 39.750 in the all-around at the NCAA Championships

  • 2021 SEC Community Service Team

  • 2020 SEC All-Freshman Team

  • 2020 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll

  • Hopes to become an athletic trainer

Student-athletes from the 2021 class who also will be introduced include Renee Abernathy, softball; Rachel Boice, women’s track and field/cross country; Alex Degen, Baseball; Sarah Fite, women’s golf; Peyton Rimko, women’s soccer; Hank Siefert, men’s swimming and diving; and Cameron Scheitzach, Alli Stumler and Lauren Tharp from volleyball. Biographies of the 2021 class can be accessed here.

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