ATLANTA-Georgia State volleyball standout Crystal Lee has been named a recipient of the Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award as announced by the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals on Tuesday.
The award is given to student-athletes that have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in collegiate athletics.
Lee is one of five student-athletes to receive the 2018 award, joining FAU’s Azeez Al-Shaair, USF’s Meredith Bissette, Michigan’s Austin Hatch, and Guy Iradukunda of Florida State. All five recipients were honored Tuesday afternoon at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington D.C.
During her first two years at Georgia State, Lee, a Chicago native, faced a good deal of adversity including injuries and academic struggles. At home, Lee’s parents divorced and her mother began to struggle with depression and bipolar disorder.
Prior to her junior season, Crystal’s mother took her own life. Lee has shown great perseverance and resolve since the tragedy, becoming an activist for mental health. In an effort to fulfill the goal of helping and supporting others, Lee elected to major in public health and will graduate with a degree in spring 2019.
On the court, Crystal has been an exemplary teammate and a two-time team captain. She leads all current Panthers in digs, kills, aces, and is third in matches played.