Griffin named finalist for Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year

Don Liebig, UCLA Photography

Chase Griffin (Photo: Don Liebig)

Football March 24, 2023

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FAIRFAX, Va. — Chase Griffin of the UCLA football team was named a finalist for the 2023 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year Award, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education announced Tuesday. He was also recognized as the winner of the sport for football.

In addition to their athletic abilities, students named 2023 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars are students of color who have maintained grade point averages (GPAs) of 3.5 or higher, are at least in their second academic year, and have been active on their campuses or in their communities. Out of nearly 1,000 nominated college-athletes, one male athlete and one female athlete will be selected as Sports Scholar of the Year.

Griffin, a quarterback from Round Rock, Texas, took high shots against Alabama State (September 10) and Colorado (September 24) during the 2022 season. He made his debut in 2020, completing 40 of 62 passes for 451 yards and six touchdowns in four games played. Griffin started two contests and guided the Bruins to victory over Arizona on Nov. 28, 2020. He threw four touchdowns as a reserve in UCLA’s 2020 Finals against Stanford (Dec. 19). Griffin was a frequent contributor to the scout team throughout his career.

In class, Griffin made the UCLA Athletic Director’s Honor Roll 11 times for holding a GPA of at least 3.0 while passing at least 12 term units. He is a two-time Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll member, eclipsing a 3.3 GPA in Fall 2022 and Fall 2020. Winner of the 2021 UCLA Athletics Academic and Student Services Achievement Award, Griffin seeks a Masters in Legal Studies after earlier earning one in Transformative Coaching and Leadership. His undergraduate work was done in public affairs.

Griffin has been active in service to the UCLA community, inside and outside the athletic department. A recipient of the UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award and the UCLA Athletics Bruin Leadership Award in 2021, he is the football program representative on the Bruin Athletic Council leadership group and serves on the Pac-12 student-athlete leadership team . Griffin was also the football team’s volunteer representative for the Voting Matters initiative, which focuses on voter education and voter registration among Bruin’s student-athlete population. He has also collaborated with UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital through the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

A portion of the proceeds from Griffin’s name, image and likeness goes directly to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank’s BackPack program, which benefits children who depend on school lunches to keep them from going hungry. Griffin and her Be11eve brand have donated over 60,000 meals and won the GoFundMe College Charity Challenge for work with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

Griffin’s work in the community extends to projects with 186th Street Elementary School in Gardena, CA, Be The Match, After School All Stars, and All Vote No Play.

This is the latest honor awarded to Griffin for his achievements on and off the playing field. He was named UCLA’s nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, recognizing “exemplary community service, dedication academic and impact on and off the pitch”, in 2022. He was also placed on the watch list for “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service”, the Wuerffel Trophy, in 2022. Griffin is now a three-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and first-time finalist.

The 2023 Male and Female Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Scholars of the Year will be announced by April 27, when Diverse: Issues in Higher Education releases its special edition of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Annual Report.

Male finalists:

• Chase Griffin, UCLA, Soccer
• Micaylon Moore, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, track/cross-country
• Reis Thomas, Wabash College, track/cross-country
• Lyle Yost, Ohio State University, Swimming and Diving

Female finalists:

• Kaira Brown, Vanderbilt University, track/cross-country
• Lauren DeVaney, Hobart and William Smith colleges, basketball
• Camber Hayes, University of Miami, football
• Madesyn Ronquillio, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, swimming and diving

Chase Griffin (@ChaseQB11) of @UCLAFootball is a 2023 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars finalist for Male Athlete of the Year. Congratulations Chase!

— Miscellaneous: Issues in Higher Education (@DiverseIssues) March 23, 2023

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