More than 200 student athletes, their coaches and administration gathered on the Liacouras Center floor for the 2022 Stella Awards Monday night, recognizing the accomplishments of Temple’s athletic program over the past year.
The ceremony marked the first time in over two years that Temple held an in-person event with each team present. Student athletes were honored for their academic success, community service and player performance.
“The Stella’s honor the best of the best of our student-athletes,” said Vice President and Athletic Director Arthur Johnson. “It allows us to come together to showcase and recognize the dedication of our student-athletes in the classroom, in competition or in the community.”
Mia Davis texted her mom right after receiving the female athletic performer of the year award. Her mom, who didn’t know about the event until the day of, quickly responded, congratulating Davis and letting her know she already knew about the win.
The Temple women’s basketball forward filled up a trophy case worthy of accolades while becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer. Davis was a 2022 WBCA All-America Honorable mention, a four-time All-American Conference first-team selection, and a three-time Cheryl Miller Award Finalist.
“This is one of the best [awards] because it’s amongst my peers,” Davis said. “I got voted as the best female athlete of the year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get player of the year in the conference, but this kind of replaced it.”
Scrolling through Instagram, Adam Oliver, a junior on the crew team, came across a post featuring his picture as a nomination for male athlete of the year. He was taken aback at first, trying to downplay his recognition.
“I had all my friends texting me about the nomination,” Oliver said. “I didn’t want to hype it up too much, because I didn’t want to say, ‘Oh, I’m going to win.’ Subconsciously, I think I really did want to win it. When I heard my name called it was just amazing.”
Oliver has been on the Varsity 8 since his freshman year and sits in the four seat of Temple’s top boat. The Workingham, England, native first noticed how much he had improved after winning the Owls’ in-house race at the start of this season.
Zach Hicks, representing men’s basketball, and fencing foil Anna Novoseltseva, both freshman, won the newcomers of the year award. Hicks set a program record sinking 10 threes in a single game. Novoseltseva qualified for the NCAA Championships after finishing seventh at Regionals this season.
The female scholar-athlete of the year award posted a three-way tie between Michelle Joyce (cross country), Lauren Zinkl (lacrosse), and Cassie Navalta (fencing). Kenneth Raynor (crew) was the men’s recipient.
Ra’Von Bonner, a Temple football graduate, won the Richard M. Englert Resnick Center Award. Bonner is an active participant in Temple’s Student Advisory Committee and Owls For Justice. He plans to pursue a doctorate degree in social work.