Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania seniors Duvol Thompson and Izu Emeagwali received one final honor to cap-off their careers in the Red and Blue as they were presented with Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson Awards by Penn’s Makuu-Black Cultural Resource Center at its annual senior awards ceremony held over the weekend.
“We are very pleased to learn that Duvol is this year recipient’s of the Jackie Robinson award,” Head Football Coach Al Bagnoli said. “He not only is a great player whom has enjoyed a tremendous career, but has contributed much more. He has been a terrific leader and a wonderful ambassador not only for our program but to the entire Penn community at large.”
“Izu winning the Althea Gibson award signifies the epitome of Althea’s legacy for black women and women as a whole,” Head Women’s Track and Field Coach Gwen Harris said. “I think Izu exemplifies her dedication, desire, and determination as an athlete and a person.”
Makuu presents the annual Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson Awards for Outstanding Performance in sports to the two seniors (one male, one female) who have demonstrated skills in excellence in the area of sports and physical fitness.
Thompson, who was one of only two unanimous first-team All-Ivy selections on the defensive side of the ball, had a strong final season in the Red and Blue. The Calumet City, Ill. native led the Quakers in kick returns with 10 returns for 237 yards. Thompson finished with 29 tackles (23 solo), six pass deflections and one interception. He was a preseason All-American according to the Sports Network. Thompson will join the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League (NFL) next season.
Emeagwali etched her name in the Penn records books throughout her career and will leave Penn as the record holder in nine events. The Rockaway, N.Y. native’s records include the indoor 55m (7.21), the 60m (7.78), the 4x400 (3:47.20) and the distance medley (11:29.66) relays. She holds outdoor records in the 100m (11.94) and is a member of the record-breaking 4x100m (46.62), 4x400 (3:39.82), sprint medley (3:55.13) and distance medley (11:27.68) relay teams. In her final season with the Red and Blue, Emeagwali finished third in the 100m at the Outdoor Heptagonal Championships and was a member of the 4x400m relay that won the Penn Relays and finished fourth at the ECAC Championships.
-Written by Kelly McCarthy, athletic communications assistant