The Bison Blue Carpet Awards gave praise to the achievements of teams and individuals of the Howard University Athletic Department. The ceremony took place on Monday, April 17 to celebrate the achievements of teams and individuals within the Howard University Athletic Department. With a sneaker ball theme, Bison athletes were encouraged to wear their best kicks to compliment their formal wear. Moving through all the sports, coaches awarded their athletes with outstanding key accomplishments, including Most Improved, Best Newcomer, and Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Following this section of the ceremony, the host moved to departmental awards. With a heartwarming delivery, coaches Nicholas Askew (swimming & diving) and Kenny Blakeney (men’s basketball) were honored with “Coach of the Year” awards. Askew continues to make history at Howard, leading the men’s swimming team to the championship and winning the Northeast Conference title after more than 30+ years. Blakeney paved a similar path for the men’s basketball team after advancing to their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title game in 21 years in 2022. After winning the championship game this year, the team continued to make history, advancing to the first round of the NCAA’s March Madness for the first time in 31 years.
Alongside the other awards athletes received throughout the ceremony, it was evidently clear that Howard Athletics continues to excel. The night ended with an inspiring closing statement from the athletic director, Kery Davis, who acknowledged Howard’s history as an academic school before motivating athletes to continue to break barriers and build upon Howard’s identity as an athletic school.
Graduate student Mikyla Rodgers, who obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut (UConn), came to Howard as a graduate transfer and is a thrower on the Howard track and field team. At her very first and only Bison Blue Carpet Awards, she took home four awards: Winter Field MVP, Spring Field MVP, and Co-Newcomer of the Year (alongside Darci Khan) for both winter and spring.
When asked what it felt like to be recognized at the Bison Blue Carpet: Sneaker Ball, she said, “It felt very rewarding and reassuring… felt really good to be recognized in front of the whole athletic department. Especially given the fact that I am a transfer and I do not know many of the other athletes. It’s just nice to be recognized and get some shine for my performances. It is something that I will not soon forget.”