Penn State basketball guard Kevin Montminy dove for a ball in practice last week and was clocked in the face. The contact broke his nose.
For the senior walk-on known more for his academic achievements than his playing time, this would serve as just another bump in the sinuous road towards on-court success.
However, only minutes after, head coach Patrick Chambers gathered the team together and announced that Montminy would be awarded a scholarship for his senior year.
“Everybody who knows Kevin Montminy – is there anyone better than him,” Chambers challenged his players. “Is he the greatest brother? The greatest teammate? He is everything this program is all about.”
“We want to offer you a scholarship for this season.”
A 4.0 student in the Smeal College of Business and the Schreyer Honors College, Montminy is a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. On the court, Montminy’s contributions have been smaller. He logged fourteen minutes last season, and scored two points.
“There is no one who works harder than Kevin Montminy,” Chambers said. “He represents everything we want from a student-athlete in our program and we are so fortunate to have had him – and his work ethic – around for the last three years. We are thrilled to be able to recognize Kevin’s dedication with a scholarship for his final season.”
Montminy’s scholarship was the final available scholarship for the Nittany Lions this season. True freshmen Isaiah Washington and Shep Garner have joined the team, both on scholarship, while Julian Moore and Payton Banks, both of whom redshirted last season, will be on scholarship in 2014.
“It was awesome and definitely unexpected, especially while I was feeling pretty bloody and broken,” Montminy said of the scholarship. “The best part of it all is knowing the coaches and the rest of the team think I deserve it.”