Boise State student-athletes carry a tradition of Bronco excellence into both their competitions and their classrooms. Beyond their class load, student-athletes must also balance multiple practice sessions and weekly sporting events in order to represent their school.
For many student-athletes, their hard work does not go unnoticed. Just this past spring, 227 Boise State student-athletes were named to the Mountain West All-Academic List, meaning they completed at least one academic term at the member institution while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and were a starter or significant contributor on their athletic team.
Recently, the efforts of two student-athletes gathered the attention of the University and athletic program. On Thursday, July 19, senior Sierra Nobley of the volleyball team and redshirt senior Mason Hampton of the football team were named the 2017-18 Boise State Student-Athletes of the Year.
Nobley, an outside hitter from Scottsdale, Az. is the most decorated volleyball player in school history, as well as one of the most decorated academic performers in recent Boise State Athletics history. Nobley is majoring in graphic design, has maintained a 3.89 grade-point average and plans to graduate this upcoming May.
“I have loved being a Bronco, and it’s an honor to know I made an impact on the program here while playing the sport I love,” Nobley said. “My initial reaction was surprise and I was grateful to all the people who made it possible for me to maximize my potential and compete at a high level. This award is a great way to wrap up my career as a Bronco and set high standards for the next crop of players.”
The 2017-18 Boise State Student-Athlete of the Year Award is one of many awards and accolades Nobley has claimed. She is a four-time Academic All-Mountain West honoree (2014-2017), four-time Mountain West Scholar Athlete (2014-2017) and a two-time member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Team.
On top of her Student-Athlete of the Year award, Nobley was also one of 105 Boise State student-athletes to receive a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award, alongside her teammates Jensen Allen, Celine Christensen and Janell Walley.
“Being a student athlete was the hardest thing I ever did. It took tremendous sacrifice and determination, and to see it all culminate with this award is truly something I’ll always cherish,” Nobley said. “It was a physical, emotional and spiritual journey that I believe was necessary for me to grow and mature as a person.”
According to Boise State Athletics, the Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award is one of the highest academic honors bestowed by the conference. To be eligible for selection, student-athletes must have completed at least two academic terms at the member institution, while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better, and have participated in varsity competition in a Mountain West-sponsored sport.
Right across the parking lot from Nobley’s volleyball court at the Bronco Gym lies Albertsons Stadium, where another Boise State student-athlete has put in hours of practice: Mason Hampton.
Hampton, an offensive lineman from Meridian, Idaho, is the male Boise State Student-Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. Hampton graduated in December 2017 with a 3.97 grade-point average and a degree in accountancy. This award is one of many honors the student-athlete has received since walking onto the team in 2014.
Hampton is a three-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award winner (2015-17), three-time Mountain West All-Academic Team member (2014-16), a 2017 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Class member, a William V. Campbell Trophy Finalist (2017), an All-Mountain West Honorable Mention (2016) and a CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team member (2016).
“(Football) has helped me become a leader. Playing on the O-line is not easy…it builds the ultimate leadership quality in being selfless and being a servant for who you’re leading,” Hampton said in a press conference after being honored as a Campbell Trophy finalist.
Furthermore, as a member of the National Football Foundation’s 2017 Scholar-Athlete Class, Hampton received a postgraduate scholarship worth $18,000. According to the Mountain West website, Hampton was the only Boise State football player to be selected into the 2017 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Class.
July 19 was an eventful day for Hampton, as he was also named the 2017-18 Mountain West Scholar-Athlete of the Year along with female recipient Jinan Andrews, a swimmer from the Air Force Academy.
According to the Mountain West website, the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is the highest honor presented to a student-athlete by the Conference. In addition to athletic achievement, recipients of the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average, demonstrate leadership and exhibit good character and conduct on and off the playing field. Each honoree will receive a $2,500 postgraduate scholarship.
Nobley’s advice to other student-athletes is to be sure to balance who they are as a competitor with who they are as a person, being sure not to place too much of their identity in their sport.
“If you want to reach your full potential on the court and in the classroom, every decision you make needs to reflect that,” Nobley said. “That being said, get comfortable being uncomfortable, and then you’ll be able to grow past the limits you set for yourself.”