Blazer Bulletin December 2018

Blazer Boosters Membership

Blazer supporters, we have officially launched IGNITE and we need your support! IGNITE is an initiative to increase the Blazer Boosters membership base, fortify a foundation for continued financial growth, and position UAB Athletics to compete at the highest level of college athletics. Investing in Blazer student-athletes through becoming a member of Blazer Boosters will ignite the future success of the UAB Department of Athletics. Visit www.uabignite.com for more details about IGNITE and to commit now!

Already a 2018 Blazer Boosters member? THANK YOU! We encourage you to reach out to friends and family who may be interested in enhancing the experience of UAB student-athletes and ask them to join as well. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@BlazerBoosters) and Instagram (@blazer_boosters) for continued updates about this new fundraising priority and the impact you make on the Blazers!

Donor Spotlight

Kirk McCulley

The McCulley Family (from left to right): Whitten, Cinnamon, Kirk, and Walker

Growing up in Birmingham, Kirk attended many UAB basketball games and watched as many as he could on TV. As a 1997 UAB graduate, that passion grew and he learned rather quickly that UAB was a special place. Kirk lives in Vestavia Hills with his wife of 16 years, Cinnamon, and their two teenage sons. They are season ticket holders for football and basketball. In their spare time they love going to the beach, fishing and watching the Blazers in action!

What is your favorite memory of UAB Athletics?

"I have three! Winning the 2015 C-USA men’s basketball tournament, winning the 2018 C-USA football title, and UAB's softball’s thrilling 2013 win in 13 innings against UCLA to move on to the super regional; what a win!"

Why do you support UAB Athletics and our student-athletes?

"UAB is one of the finest colleges and universities in the country. Athletics are often the first introduction many people have to UAB. It is important that we support our student-athletes to not only provide them every opportunity to succeed in their chosen sport but also provide them every opportunity to succeed in the classroom."

What makes you the most proud of UAB Athletics?

"Our student-athletes and the family atmosphere. When our student-athletes are playing their chosen sport, they are the face of UAB to the world and I can’t think of a better way to advertise our wonderful university to prospective students! UAB Athletics is also a hidden (not for much longer) gem. My wife and I love the family atmosphere that has been enhanced and grown by our current athletic administration. It is a wonderful way to spend time together!"

Student-Athlete Spotlight

Tavin Lovan

Tavin Lovan is a 6'4" freshman guard for the UAB Men's Basketball team. As a true freshman, Tavin has started 8 out of the 9 games played and has brought an immediate offensive presence to the team; shooting over 50% from the field. He is the son of Tony and Veronica Lovan and has a twin sister.

How has your experience been as a student-athlete at UAB?

"I have not been here long, but I have had a great experience so far. I love UAB's campus and the support we get from everyone around here. That is really important for me, especially being away from my family in Kentucky."

What does playing at UAB mean to you?

"It means a lot to have the opportunity to wear UAB across my chest every day. While being here I have been able to learn a lot from past players and their experiences while they were student-athletes. We look up to those guys, and I just feel blessed to follow behind players who laid an amazing foundation. I now have the opportunity to leave my mark alongside some of the best to do it. I want to be able to come back after graduating and be one of those guys to future players."

What has been your favorite memory during your time here?

"BOOTCAMP! It is where you separate the boys from the men and you really see the heart of the people around you. Seeing my teammates put in the necessary work when there weren't any fans in the stands, no time on the clock, and no opponent across from us really showed me how strong we could be as a team. I was truly able to see our guys grow up in 4 days. I knew we were ready to stand with each other throughout the season."

What does the future hold?

"I have not declared a major yet, but I think I may have my sights on business. I truly have a passion for basketball and want the opportunity to play at the next level, then I eventually want to coach so I can give back and develop players."

A special message to Blazer Booster members

"I truly appreciate all that you all have done for our program, since I've been here as well as in the past. We will continue to get better, not only for ourselves, but for UAB, Birmingham, and our Blazer Boosters members who support us. Thank you for everything!"

C-USA Champions Headed to Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl

Experiencing their best season in school history which includes tallying a program-best 10 victories, the Blazers are coming off a 27-25 victory over Middle Tennessee to claim the 2018 C-USA title.

The UAB football team has accepted an invitation to play MAC champion Northern Illinois in the 2018 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at FAU Stadium. The game kicks at 7 p.m. EST/6 p.m. CST and will be nationally televised on ESPN. The matchup is the only bowl game outside of the New Years Six to feature two conference champions against each other.

This will be UAB's third bowl game in program history and its second-consecutive after playing in last year's Bahamas Bowl. UAB (10-3) and NIU (8-5) have never met on the gridiron and the Blazers look to register their first-ever bowl victory.

"We are thrilled to play a quality opponent such as Northern Illinois in the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. We look forward to an incredible challenge and will be eager to finish off our historic season with a bowl victory." -Head Coach Bill Clark

UAB is 10th nationally in total defense, while it leads the nation in fourth down defense and is second in third down defense. The game with NIU will pair two elite defenses as the Huskies lead the country in sacks (50) and rank sixth in tackles for loss (8.0), while UAB is fourth in sacks (43) and fifth in tackles for loss (8.1).

"We are honored to have been selected to a premier bowl such as the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. Congratulations to NIU on winning the MAC title; this game will be a fantastic matchup between two championship teams. We are grateful to Conference USA and all of our bowl partners for their hard work during the bowl selection process. Our team and staff look forward to traveling with our fans to sunny South Florida." -Director of Athletics Mark Ingram

Tickets to the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl can be purchased by clicking here. For more information on the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl, click here. Access to the bowl media guide can be found here.

Kuzmanic Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist

UAB women's basketball senior guard Deanna Kuzmanic has been named a Senior CLASS Award finalist, the award's office announced.

Kuzmanic is one of 30 women's basketball players across the nation to be up for the award and is the only Conference USA representative on the list.

"Deanna is very deserving of this honor. She has done so much for our program, both on and off the court. She is the type of player that you want to build a program around. Her work ethic and dedication to her game, academics, her teammates and family make her one of a kind. I am very proud of her." - Head Coach Randy Norton

CLASS, an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in the community.

Among the 60 candidates across men's and women's basketball programs across the country, 13 have GPAs of 3.5 or higher. There will be 25 athletes returning to the court this season after receiving All-America honors and 54 candidates earned All-Conference honors a season ago.

On the court, Kuzmanic ranks third on the team in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game, while she is the only player on the team to net double figures in every game this season. The Mount Prospect, Ill., native ranks fourth in UAB in 3-point field goals (208) and is 21st all-time in scoring (1,198). A 2018 Preseason All-C-USA selection, Kuzmanic was named First Team All-Conference as a junior and earned All-Freshman Team honors in 2016.

In the classroom, Kuzmanic carries a 3.93 GPA in Math and STEM Education. As a junior, she earned C-USA All-Academic honors as well as earning a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District 4 Team. She is a three-time member of the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll and has received the league's Academic Medal four times as well.

The team captain has logged over 115 hours of community service since her freshman year, completing 17 hours of reading to Birmingham area elementary schools to go along with 24 hours of being a reading mentor.

The women's field will be narrowed to 10 finalists in February. Those named will be placed on the official ballot. The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2019 NCAA Women's Final Four in Tampa.

For more information on the UAB women's basketball team, follow the Blazers on Twitter (@UAB_WBB), on Instagram (UAB_WBBall) or like them on Facebook (Facebook.com/UABWBB).

Belles and Whistles Corner

2018 UAB Volleyball Team

Belles & Whistles was formed in 2008 with the goal of providing UAB's female student-athletes with the greatest opportunity for success in academics and athletics by creating a network of those who will help raise funds to enhance the student-athlete experience. A portion of contributions made to Belles & Whistles is tax-deductible. For more information about Belles & Whistles, contact Blazer Boosters at (205) 996-9969. Click HERE to give today!

B Club Corner

UAB Football

The B Club is the official letter winner society for UAB Athletics. Former letter winners are encouraged to join and connect with us via LinkedIn by joining the group, "Official UAB Athletics Alumni." Memberships are $100 and are split 50/50 between the Blazer Club Scholarship Fund and the Sport Gift Account of their choice.

Join the B Club by clicking here.

Blazer Bylaws

Any individual may report a suspected NCAA violation. An individual may report the potential violation verbally or in writing to the UAB Athletics Compliance Office, the Director of Athletics, the President’s Office, the University Compliance Office, or the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR). An individual may also report a potential violation anonymously and confidentially via UAB’s toll-free Ethics Hotline (1-866-362-9476) or by filing an online report by clicking here. For more information on NCAA violation reporting procedures visit click here. Follow UAB Compliance on Twitter @BlazerBylaws for compliance updates and reminders.

UAB Home Athletic Events

**Times have been changed from original schedule.

Saturday, December 15: UAB Men's Basketball vs Auburn - BJCC at 6:30 p.m.

**Tuesday, December 18: UAB Men's Basketball vs Alcorn State - Bartow Arena at 3 p.m.

Friday, December 21: UAB Men's Basketball vs Troy - Bartow Arena at 7 p.m.

**Saturday, December 29: UAB Men's Basketball vs Arkansas Monticello - Bartow Arena at 1 p.m.

Sunday, December 30: UAB Women's Basketball vs UAH - Bartow Arena at 2 p.m.

Thursday, January 3: UAB Men's Basketball vs Florida Atlantic - Bartow Arena at 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 5: UAB Men's Basketball vs FIU - Bartow Arena at 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 10: UAB Women's Basketball vs Louisiana Tech - Bartow Arena at 6 p.m.

Saturday, January 12: UAB Women's Basketball vs Southern Miss - Bartow Arena at 2 p.m.

Connect with Blazer Boosters!

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