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Arella Guirantes one of 10 finalists for Senior CLASS Award

Fifth-year senior guard Arella Guirantes is the fourth Knight to be a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. – Photo by Ben Solomon /

Rutgers women's basketball fifth-year senior guard Arella Guirantes is one of 10 national finalists for the 2020-2021 Senior CLASS Award. 

From the original list of 30 candidates, a selection committee has found its final 10. Fans will be allowed to vote on the Senior CLASS Award Website until March 22. Their votes will be counted together with the media and Division I head coaches. The winners will be made public during the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

A starter in all 13 games the No. 25 Scarlet Knights (10-3, 6-3) have played, Guirantes spent most of the time on the floor, leading the team with an average of 36.5 minutes per game.

She is the fourth women's basketball player from Rutgers to be a candidate, with the last one being Essence Carson in 2007. The Knights had finalists the two years prior with Cappie Pondexter in 2006 and Chelsea Newton in 2005. All three went on to play in the WNBA. 

Standing for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School," the Senior CLASS Award looks to recognize, "seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring.”

In order to be a nominee, the student-athlete must excel in four categories. The first being the classroom. Guirantes graduated last year with a degree in journalism and media studies and has spent time with ICM Partners through an internship. 

The second category is character. Guirantes has been outspoken about her team and women’s basketball in general.

Guirantes fits in the third category, community, based on her history of service. Volunteering with the Somerset Community Action Program for two years, Guirantes facilitated physical education classes for children. She has also given time to the Global Citizens Project by speaking at high schools about basketball and education. 

Guirantes's success this season makes her eligible for the final category — competition. This season Guirantes has been named the ESPN National Player of the Week, twice been crowned Big Ten Player of the Week and leads Rutgers in points per game (PPG) with 22.2. The guard has been much more than just a scoring option, as she is the only player in the Big Ten to rank in the top five for scoring, assists, steals and blocks.

Guirantes, along with her supporting cast that holds opponents to a Big Ten best of 56 PPG have earned themselves a spot in the AP Top 25 for the first time since February 2019. The Knights will look to defend that position and potentially move up with three games left on their truncated schedule. 

For updates on the Rutgers women's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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