Higgins, Martin Earn Iowa’s B1G Outstanding Sportsmanship Award

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kate Martin (women’s basketball) and Jay Higgins (football) have been selected as Iowa’s 2024 Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners. The duo were chosen from Iowa’s list of 2023-24 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winners, which had a representative from each varsity sport.

Martin and the Hawkeyes set a program record and tied the Big Ten single-season record with 34 wins in 2024, captured the Big Ten Tournament championship and finished as national runners-up for a second straight year.

The Edwardsville, Illinois, native stands as the first Iowa women’s basketball player to have amassed 900+ points, 500+ rebounds, 400+ assists, 120+ steals and 60+ blocks in a career and is the third player in school history behind Caitlin Clark and Sam Logic to net 1,200+ points, 700+ rebounds, and 450+ assists. Martin scored 10+ points in 30 games last season, 15+ points in 17 games, while averaging 13.1 points per game in her senior campaign.

Martin was selected by the Las Vegas Aces with 18th overall pick in the second round of the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Higgins anchored the Hawkeye defense in 2023 with a breakout senior season. Higgins and the Hawkeyes won 10 games and advanced to the Big Ten Championship Game. Iowa’s defense was one of the best in the country, ranking fourth in scoring defense and the unit yielded 4.08 yards per play in 2023 to lead the nation for a second straight year.

The linebacker finished the year with 171 tackles, tying the Iowa record, while leading the Big Ten and ranking third nationally. The Indianapolis native was a first-team All-American by FWAA, Phil Steele and Sports Illustrated and second-team selection by the AFCA, CBS, Walter Camp, Associated Press and Sporting News. He led the team in tackles in 12 of 14 games, with three 15+ tackle games and 10 contests with 10 or more stops.

Higgins was also the unanimous recipient of the 2023 Duke Slater Golden Gavel Award, presented annually to the Hawkeye football player who not only is most cooperative with local media but exhibits themself with professional integrity in all interactions.

The Big Ten first awarded the Outstanding Sportsmanship honor in 2003. The student-athletes chosen were individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior, were in good academic standing and demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.

Following is a list of Iowa’s past Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award Winners:

Year Men’s Award Winner Women’s Award Winner
2003 Stuart Waters, Men’s Tennis Kristin Johnson, Softball
2004 Nate Kaeding, Football Laura Chipman, Softball
2005 Joe Johnston, Wrestling Jennifer Skolaski, Swimming & Diving
2006 Adam Haluska, Men’s Basketball Liz Grajewski, Women’s Gymnastics
2007 Adam Haluska, Men’s Basketball Kara Zappone, Field Hockey
2008 Bart van Monsjou, Men’s Tennis Brittany Keyes, Rowing
2009 Christian Bierich, Men’s Tennis Wendy Ausdemore, Women’s Basketball
2010 A.J. Edds, Football Laura Cilek, Women’s Golf
2011 Chris Brant, Men’s Golf Kelsey Cermak, Women’s Basketball
2012 Matt Gatens, Men’s Basketball Betsy Flood, Women’s Track & Field
2013 Eric May, Men’s Basketball Mareike Schrulle, Women’s Cross Country
2014 James Morris, Football Theairra Taylor, Women’s Basketball
2015 Mark Weisman, Football Melissa Dixon, Women’s Basketball
2016 Drew Ott, Football Amy Ihm, Women’s Golf
2017 Nicholas Baer, Men’s Basketball Sophie Plasteras, Field Hockey
2018 Spencer Lee, Wrestling Hannah Stewart, Women’s Basketball
2019 Alex Marinelli, Wrestling Hannah Stewart, Women’s Basketball
2020 Connor McCaffery, Men’s Basketball Makenzie Meyer, Women’s Basketball
2021 Mehki Sargent, Football Kate Martin, Women’s Basketball
2022 Patrick McCaffery, Men’s Basketball Bailey Ortega, Volleyball
2023 Kaevon Merriweather, Football Jordan Amelon, Women’s Golf
2024 Jay Higgins, Football Kate Martin, Women’s Basketball