April 6, 2011
="" alt="Knight Head" border="0" class="imported"> Read John Denton's Knights Insider | ="" alt="Twitter Logo" border="0" class="imported">Follow us on Twitter | ="" alt="Facebook Logo" border="0" class="imported">Get social with the Knights on Facebook
By Pat Salvas
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) announced Wednesday that UCF women's basketball senior Angelica Mealing (Decatur, Ga.) was named as the 2011 National STUDENT-Athlete Day Giant Steps Award winner in the category of Courageous Student-Athlete. Mealing is one of just five recipients of the 2011 Giant Steps Award.
Mealing is being honored for overcoming hardships throughout her life, but continuing on to succeed on the basketball court as well as in the classroom.
The award is presented annually as part of National STUDENT-Athlete Day which honors both high school and collegiate students for their work on the field of play and in the classroom as well as for their contributions to their schools and communities. It is presented to those who use sport to positively affect social change and demonstrate a commitment to the betterment of society.
Overcoming challenges in her home life that would have prevented many others from pursuing playing basketball at the Division I level, Mealing went on to have one of the best careers in program history during her four seasons at UCF. Growing up without a father and raised by her grandparents after her mother could no longer care for her and her younger brother, Mealing earned a full-athletic scholarship to play basketball at UCF.
Finishing her career with 327 career assists, Mealing ranks fourth all-time in program history, while 11th in steals with 140. As a sophomore, Mealing helped UCF claim the 2009 Conference USA Tournament Championship, scoring 10 points and adding four assists in the title game against Southern Miss.
This past season, Mealing suffered a season-ending knee injury in late January that sidelined her for the remainder of the year. That didn't stop the senior guard from remaining an active member of the team, attending every practice and almost every game despite her inability to play.
When the Knights won the 2011 C-USA Championship in El Paso, Texas, on March 12, there was Mealing front-and-center to receive the trophy from the league commissioner as her teammates chanted her name. Mealing was also the first UCF player to climb the ladder and cut the nets following the win, a sign of respect and admiration from her teammates that claimed to have won the title for her.
Currently, Mealing has enrolled in the DeVos Sport Business Management program at UCF and will continue to further her education in hopes of one day helping others overcome their own obstacles through sports.