CHICKASHA – Between running among to two sports, student government, class and other activities, now-sophomore Tashina Ototivo is basically the definition of a student athlete.

And that’s exactly why a committee voted Ototivo the 2010 recipient of the Bill and Pat Smith Scholar-Athlete Scholarship.

“I was very excited and erupted with joy. Money is hard to come by in college, especially playing two sports, and being honored with an award for sports and academics is a huge blessing,” said Ototivo, who plays both basketball and softball. “I think this is just another thing that will encourage me to strive to be a good example and the person that God wants me to be.”

Ototivo had three faculty members nominate her, including her basketball coach, Laci Tompkins.

“Tashina is one of those rare individuals that stand head and shoulders above the rest. This girl has the world by the tail,” Tompkins wrote in her nomination. “One cannot go wrong with her. This would be an investment.”

As well as playing for both the Drover basketball team and the softball team, Ototivo served as the President of the Freshman Class last year and has earned a 3.74 GPA. She is a music major from Walters, Okla.

“(She’s a) very good academic student,” Dr. Ken Bohannon wrote in his nomination. “Her personality and work ethic are outstanding.”

Ototivo said the scholarship has only encouraged her to work harder and keep her grades up.

“I’m thankful that my teachers have recognize the work I put in to my academics as well as my athletics,” she said. “I pray that I will continue to impress them with my hard work.”

The $1,000 scholarship is traditionally given to one sophomore or junior student athlete who best reflects USAO’s Creed: Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Social. After Ototivo was chosen, long-time Drover supporter Bill Smith offered another $1,000 scholarship. The committee will choose a male recipient next week.

Published: July 6, 2010