News

North Carolina’s Luke Maye Wins 2018-19 Senior CLASS Award for Men’s Basketball

April 5, 2019

All-American forward Luke Maye of North Carolina has been selected as the 2018-19 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I men’s basketball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men’s basketball coaches, national basketball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s basketball. Maye is the second men’s basketball student-athlete from North Carolina to win the Senior CLASS Award after Tyler Hansbrough in 2009.

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. 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: classroom, community, character and competition.

“My time at North Carolina has been priceless, and not solely because of the basketball success or academic achievement,” said Maye, who helped the Tar Heels to a 29–7 record, a share of the ACC regular season conference championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Regional. “The entire experience—from the conversations with teachers to the interactions with fellow athletes to the laughs with friends—has made my four years so special. I cannot thank Coach Williams and the rest of the coaching staff enough for the teachings and encouragement they gave me throughout my career. Outside of basketball, I was pushed by my professors and classmates, and my competitive drive helped me to excel in the classroom and taught me more than I ever thought I would learn. My academics were so important to me, but I wanted to be able to leave a more lasting impression on the place I called home for four years. I loved meeting kids at the hospital and holding conversations with workers at the dining halls because it put me in contact with many special people. When I reflect on my time here, basketball and academics are important but the people that I have met and the relationships I have built will take me further in life and that’s what I am most proud of.”

Originally committing to UNC as a walk-on, Maye earned a scholarship as a freshman and came off the bench his first two seasons, becoming the first player in Tar Heel history to earn NCAA Regional MVP honors as a reserve in 2017. As a junior, he earned third-team All-America and first-team All-ACC honors after notching 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds—just the sixth Tar Heel to average a double-double in the last 40 years. This season, Maye earned honorable mention AP All-America, second-team All-ACC and first-team USBWA District III honors after averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Grabbing 377 rebounds (seventh most in UNC single-season history) this season, he set a Tar Heel record for most boards in consecutive seasons with 750 and concluded his career with 1,392 points and 942 rebounds, good for 10th all-time at UNC.

“There isn’t a finer example of someone who put in more effort and, as a result, got more out of his college experience than Luke,” said Head Coach Roy Williams. “He’s an outstanding student and a terrific basketball player who worked hard in both areas to excel at a very high level. A two-time Academic All-America and the ACC’s top scholar-athlete, an All-America and two-time All-ACC Player, he will of course be remembered by generations of Tar Heel fans for helping us win a national championship in 2017. I’ll remember him for vowing never to be out-worked and then watching him back that promise up every day in the classroom, the weight room and the gym.”

As committed to success off the court as he was on, Maye earned the Skip Prosser Award as the top men’s basketball scholar-athlete in the ACC, capturing the honor for the second year in a row. Just the fourth player in program history to be named to the All-ACC Academic Team all four years at UNC, Maye also was named a second-team Academic All-American as both a junior and senior.

A team captain for his senior season, Maye earned a reputation for a strong work ethic and selflessness, staying active in community outreach throughout his career. Along with his teammates, Maye participated in a variety of events such as holiday shopping for underprivileged kids, reading to elementary school students, visiting with Make-a-Wish style experiences at games and the team’s autographed balls for charity program, which raises thousands of dollars each year.

“Luke Maye is an excellent student-athlete all the way around and a leader in one of the most prestigious men’s basketball programs in the country,” said Erik Miner, Executive Director of the Senior CLASS Award. “Becoming one of the top players in the country after beginning his career as a walk-on is commendable on its own, but Maye did so while excelling in the classroom and community with positive character. We offer our congratulations to Luke and to the University of North Carolina.”

For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-Americans
Clayton Custer, Loyola-Chicago
Mike Daum, South Dakota State
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Luke Maye, North Carolina
Reid Travis, Kentucky


Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-Americans
Jon Elmore, Marshall
Drew McDonald, Northern Kentucky
Josh Perkins, Gonzaga
Dylan Windler, Belmont
Justin Wright-Foreman, Hofstra