PITTSBURGH -- Point Park University athletics is very proud to recognize Ja'Nia McPhatter (Women's Basketball) and Paul Carr (Men's Soccer) as the 2016-17 recipients of the Don Kelly Student-Athlete Leadership Award. McPhatter and Carr were honored at the Point Park University Outstanding Student Awards April 21, 2017 at the Fairmont in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The Don Kelly Student-Athlete Leadership Award is given annually to two Point Park University junior or senior student-athletes – one male and one female – who display outstanding leadership and embody the values, spirit and tradition of being a model student-athlete during their time at the University. Deserving candidates are outstanding representatives of the school and the department in the classroom, in the community and in the sport they play. These qualities exhibit what it means to be a student-athlete.

McPhatter and Carr were nominated by their respective teams in the department, and they were chosen after review from a panel of Pioneers athletics staff. The award is named for former Pioneers baseball star and Major League Baseball player Don Kelly, who was an NAIA All-American at Point Park from 1999-01. Kelly went on to a long career in professional baseball. He displayed great character and values as evidenced by multiple times being named to the MLB Player's Alumni Association "Heart & Hustle Award" list.

Ja'Nia McPhatter's well-deserving resume for the award includes high achievements in all areas of being a student-athlete. On the court, McPhatter was a three-time all-conference honoree for Pioners women's basketball from 2012-17. She made the all-conference first team three different seasons, and they were separated in between by McPhatter coming back from two different injuries that forced her to miss two entire seasons. In just three seasons playing for the Pioneers after transferring from La Roche, McPhatter massed 1,119 career points and 550 career rebounds.

Academically, McPhatter boasted a 3.87 grade-point average during her undergraduate degree in Pre-med. She went on to pursue a graduate degree at Point Park majoring earning an MBA in health systems administration with a 4.0 GPA on the master's level. During her time with the Pioneers, McPhatter was a leader on the team and in the community as well.

Paul Carr's status as this year's male recipient comes after a stellar career for Point Park men's soccer. A central defender from Sheffield, England, Carr was a four-year starter for the Pioneers. He was a team leader throughout and provided a great example of what it takes to be a standout performer on and off the field. He was a three-time all-conference seletion, and he also had a 3.34 grade-point average majoring in Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management.

Carr started every game that he dressed for the Pioneers with 67 games played over four years. He totaled 16 goals, three assists and 35 points during his career. Highlights during his career include being named NAIA Honorable Mention All-America at defender, earning NAIA Men's Soccer National Defensive Player of the Week after a win over No. 7 Rio Grande (Ohio), winning a conference championship, reaching the NAIA national tournment and making the conference playoffs all four years.

More information about the Don Kelly Student Athlete Leadership Award can be found by downloading the information sheet. The award was first established in 2014-15, and the winners from the first three years are listed below.


YearFemale RecipientMale Recipient
2014-15Audrey Eisentrout (Softball)Nathan Sphon (Baseball)
2015-16Alexa Xenakis (Women's Basketball)Shane Conley (Baseball)
2016-17Ja'Nia McPhatter (Women's Basketball)Paul Carr (Men's Soccer)