GAINESVILLE, FL (via University of Florida Communications) - University of Florida 2013 NCAA champion Bridget Sloan (Pittsboro, Ind.) and 2014 men's basketball Senior CLASS Award candidate Patric Young (Jacksonville, Fla.) will be honored as recipients of the 2013 Ben Hill Griffin Award for their overall contributions to the Gator athletics program and Gainesville community last year.
Established by Gator Boosters, Inc., and the University of Florida Athletic Association, the award honors the top male and female student-athlete at the University of Florida and is named after Ben Hill Griffin and his family, who have been long-time avid supporters and fans of Gator athletics. The Ben Hill Griffin award is based primarily on athletic achievement; academic achievement and extra-curricular involvement are also considered.
Sloan is just five years removed from competing as the youngest member of the U.S. national team in the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, where the team earned a silver medal. The next year, Sloan was crowned the 2009 World Championships all-around winner, and went on to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials for the second time in her illustrious career. A six-time member of the U.S. National Team and six-time Visa Championship medalist, Sloan is the first World Championships' all-around winner to compete collegiately.
As a Gator freshman, Sloan became the sixth freshman all-time to take multiple event titles in the NCAA meet's 32-year history, earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors and led the program with 22 event titles.
Most notably, Sloan played an integral role in Florida's pursuit of its first NCAA Championship. The Pittsboro, Ind., native hit an all-around mark of 39.75 at the Southeastern Conference Championships to help lift Florida to its second-consecutive conference title. She led all competitors at the national championships' site, winning the all-around title in NCAA semifinal round and equaling her collegiate-best of 39.75 to top the all-arounders in the NCAA Super Six team final
In 2013, Sloan became just the fourth freshman to win the Honda Award in the award's 37-year history, an honor given to the country's top collegiate female athlete in each of 12 sports. In addition, Sloan earned four All-America first-team honors (all-around, bars, beam and floor) in the NCAA Championships' competition, adding the NCAA balance beam title to her all-around win.
At the 2014 home opener against the Georgia Gym Dogs, Sloan and teammate Kytra Hunter became the second Gator duo to earn 10.0s on the same event (floor routine) in the same meet. They bring the number of Florida 10.0 floor performers to four, joining All-Americans Pam Titus (1991) and Chrissy Vogel (1997).
Sloan's achievements reach beyond the gym floor. During her time in Gainesville, Sloan has been advocate for the fight against cancer. She participated in the 2012 and 2013 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and helped brighten the residents' day at the team's annual dinner at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge.
As one of the nation's elite post defenders and one of the most physical men's hoops players in the SEC, Young is dedicated to making himself and his teammates better on a daily basis. He is a fierce competitor who averaged double-figures as a sophomore, junior and now as a senior. He surpassed the 1,000-point plateau this year, becoming just the 50th Gator to ever do so. In his first year donning the Orange and Blue, Young was honored as an All-SEC Freshman and a CollegeInsider.com Freshman All-American. Young was also named second-team All-SEC by the coaches in 2013.
Away from the court, Young is just as diligent in his course work. A two-time SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, he's also earned SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades twice and is on schedule to graduate this May. Coupled with a 3.37 GPA in Telecommunications, Young was named a 2014 Senior CLASS Award nominee.
Dedicated not only on the court and in the classroom, Young stays involved on campus and can often be seen supporting his fellow Florida student-athletes at various athletic events. Faith has been the leading factor in guiding Young toward success. Very involved in church and Bible study, he has traveled to Africa with the Christian Athlete organization, Athletes in Action and has made numerous visits to children at UF Health during his time as a Gator. Young is a mentor, a motivator, a friend and a quality teammate; he has truly left a legacy at UF on and off the court.
Like Sloan, Young has also represented the Stars & Stripes. As a member of Team USA for the 2011 U19 FIBA World Championships, Young averaged 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. Young also sported the Red, White & Blue as a member of the 2010 USA Basketball U18 National Team that captured gold at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in San Antonio, Texas.
Sloan and Young will be honored with the Ben Hill Griffin Award at the 2014 Hall of Fame Banquet, to be held on Friday, March 7, at 6 p.m. in the Holloway Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Please contact Gator Boosters at (352) 375-4683, ext. 5021 for information on attending the 2014 Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.