Nash Named AAC Female Champion of Character

Published on
May 26, 2016

Lydia Nash was named AAC Female Champion of Character award winnerBARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College's Lydia Nash added to her already impressive collection of hardware when she was named the 2015-16 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Female Champions of Character Award winner.

The announcement was made at the conference's annual spring meetings on May 16 in Kingsport, Tenn.

The AAC Female and Male Champions of Character Awards recognize student-athletes who demonstrate the NAIA Champions of Character core values on and off the campus. The honorees are persons who excel on the field play, in the classroom and in the community.

"I can not think of any more deserving student-athlete for this award than Lydia," Union Director of Athletics and women's basketball coach Tim Curry said. "She has personified excellence on the court, in the classroom and in life."

The five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character Initiative are: respect, integrity, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.

Nash believes respect and integrity are the most crucial of these values as they are the driving force for the remaining three.

"Without being able to know the difference from right and wrong and knowing how to treat people around you, no other values will be present in your life," Nash said.

While much of her integrity and respect stem from her Christian faith, Nash also credits her parents for instilling these values in her.

"With the guidance of my parents, I was taught to never treat anyone differently based on background, religion, gender, race or any other discriminating factor," she added. "These values were put into practice with our family's involvement with a local homeless shelter. There, I learned that is only by God's grace that we are not in their position, and that giving them a warm meal is the least we can do to show them His love."

Nash started all four years for the Union women's basketball team, compiling 1,802 career points and 601 career rebounds to rank her third and ninth, respectively, in program history. She earned All-AAC First Team and Academic All-Conference honors three times during her career.

Off the court, Nash registered a 4.0 grade-point average to earn her valedictorian honors. She was twice named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team, earning Player of the Year honors in March of 2016. Nash served in a variety of capacities on the Union campus including as a student ambassador, the SGA Vice President for Athletics, an assistant food coordinator for Fairhaven Rescue Mission and a freshmen peer mentor. Additionally, she served on three missions trips to Haiti assisting vacation Bible schools for the local children and helping with construction on a local church.

On May 7, Nash graduated from Union with a degree in athletic training.

This marks the first time a student-athlete from Union received this award. For more on the award, click here.