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Ole Miss Athletics Gathers for the 2023 Rebels Choice Awards

Rebel Choice Awards Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Presented by the Ole Miss Student-Athlete Engagement Staff and the Ole Miss Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the 12th annual Rebels Choice Awards celebrated athletic and academic successes from last season as well as the 2022-23 academic year at the SJB Pavilion Monday night.
 
Following remarkable postseason runs, baseball and women’s basketball were named the Teams of the Year after baseball claimed the 2022 National Championship and women’s basketball made a remarkable run to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Women’s basketball is coming off of one of its best seasons in recent memory, winning a school record 11 SEC games en route to upsetting No. 1 seeded Stanford in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament to reach the program’s 11th Sweet 16.
 
On the diamond, baseball earned its first national title in program history after winning 10 out of 11 games during its postseason run. Baseball’s title clinching 4-2 win over Oklahoma in Game 2 of the College World Series Finals won Game of the Year, with Brandon Johnson’s final strikeout of the game taking home Play of the Year.
 
Both leaders of these programs were recognized as the Men’s and Women’s Coaches of the Year, with Mike Bianco and Yolett McPhee-McCuin earning honors. Bianco was named the National Coach of the Year by D1 Baseball, USA Baseball and Collegiate Baseball, after winning the national title and taking Ole Miss to the College World Series for the second time. 
 
McPhee-McCuin guided the Rebels to its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance and its first win over a No. 1 seed against Stanford. Ole Miss also reached 20-wins in back-to-back seasons for the only time since 1993-94 & 1994-95.
 
For the second year in a row, Most Valuable Rebel was given to baseball’s Tim Elko, while on the women’s side Angel Baker took home the honor. Baker most recently inked a training camp contract for the Chicago Sky, after one of the best seasons of her career. The Indianapolis, Ind., native, was named First Team All-SEC after pacing Ole Miss in scoring at 15.3 points per game.
 
Elko, also known as “The Captain” started in all 65 games for Ole Miss at first base. The 2022 NCBWA Third Team All-American led the Rebels in slugging percentage (.642), RBI’s (75), and home runs (24).
 
Freshmen sure made a splash, with football’s Quinshon Judkins and volleyball’s Aly Borellis coming away as Rookies of the Year. On the gridiron, Judkins lit up opposing defenses in his first year as a Rebel. Judkins was named the SEC Freshman of the Year, following a breakout season where he set the Ole Miss single-season record in rushing yards (1,567) and rushing touchdowns (16). His 1,567 yards rank as the second-most ever by a freshman in SEC history.
 
Borellis made a major impact on the court being named to the 2022 All-SEC Freshman Team, after making 21 starts at setter. She averaged 9.40 assists per set to rank 13th nationally among freshman. After posting 52 assists and six kills in the rivalry win at Mississippi State, Borellis was named the SEC Freshman of the week.
 
For the sixth straight year, men’s tennis won the men’s Chancellor’s Cup – which is given to the team with the highest GPA. Women’s golf repeated as well, earning the Chancellor’s Cup for the second year in a row.
 
Women’s track and field’s Christian Hill was awarded the Bennie Abrams Award, which honors a student-athlete with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in honor of former non-scholarship athlete, Bennie Abram, who tragically passed away during an offseason workout.
 
Scholar-Athlete of the Year was presented to men’s tennis’ Simon Junk and women’s golf’s Chiara Tamburlini for their outstanding excellence in the classroom. 
 
Football as well as women’s basketball were honored for their dedication to the Oxford community, with both programs earning the Community Engagement Award.
 
2023 REBELS’ CHOICE AWARDS WINNERS
 
Women’s Team of the Year: Women’s Basketball
Men’s Team of the Year: Baseball
 
Women’s Coach of the Year: Yolett McPhee-McCuin, Women’s Basketball
Men’s Coach of the Year: Mike Bianco, Baseball
 
Women’s Most Valuable Rebel: Angel Baker, Women’s Basketball
Men’s Most Valuable Rebel: Tim Elko, Baseball
 
Women’s Rookie of the Year: Aly Borellis, Volleyball
Men’s Rookie of the Year: Quinshon Judkins, Football
 
Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Chiara Tamburlini, Women’s Golf
Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Simon Junk, Men’s Tennis
*Must have GPA of 3.5 or higher
 
Game of the Year: Baseball defeating Oklahoma in Game 2 of the College World Series Finals for the 2022 National Championship.
 
Play of the Year: Brandon Johnson’s final strikeout to defeat Oklahoma 4-2 in Game 2 of the College World Series Finals.
 
Bennie Abram Award: Christian Hill, Women’s Track & Field
*Given annually to a student-athlete with a GPA above 3.0 in honor of former non-scholarship football player, Bennie Abram
 
Chancellor’s Cup: Women’s Golf, Men’s Tennis
*Highest team GPA
 
Community Engagement: Women’s Basketball, Football
 
For further academic accolades, follow @RebelsAcademics on Twitter.
 
FedEx Student-Athlete Success Center and Ole Miss Student-Athlete Development Mission 
The mission of the FedEx Student-Athlete Success Center is to promote academic and personal achievement through quality developmental and need-based programs designed to empower and holistically develop student-athletes for life after collegiate athletics.


Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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