Lees-McRae's Wallis Named 2016 Comeback Athlete of the Year

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Avery Wallis of Lees-McRae College has been named the 2016 Conference Carolinas Comeback Athlete of the Year. A junior member of the Lees-McRae men’s basketball team, Wallis is the first Bobcat to receive the award. 

In its third year, the Comeback Athlete of the Year recognizes a Conference Carolinas student-athlete who participates in a conference-sponsored sport that has suffered a significant injury and comes back to make significant contributions to their team after recovering. Nominees were selected and then voted on by the head athletic trainers of Conference Carolinas’ 12 member institutions.   

During the 2014-2015 season as a sophomore, Wallis would miss 46% of the season after sustaining a dislocated elbow during practice after missing a dunk and falling to the ground. Wallis would undergo three surgeries to repair his dislocated elbow and remain in a fixator device for 12 weeks post-surgery.
 
“We are very proud of Avery and how he handled the entire process,” said Lucas Carson, Lees-McRae’s Athletic Trainer for Men’s Basketball, “ The injury sustained was very traumatic, but his determination and faith never wavered in his efforts to recover and return to the basketball court.”
 
After a long recovery, Wallis would return to action for the 2015-2016 season, playing in 30 games with seven starts. He played an integral role in the Bobcat’s record-breaking season for total wins (16) and retuning to the Conference Carolinas Men’s Basketball Championship as a top-four seed.
 
“Avery may be one of the toughest kids I have ever coached,” said head men’s basketball coach Steve Hardin. “The way Avery handled this injury and stayed himself was great to see. It shows that he’s a mature leader and true comeback hero to our program.”

Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletics conference made up of 12 teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Converse College, Emmanuel College, Erskine College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, University of Mount Olive, North Greenville University, Pfeiffer University, and Southern Wesleyan University. Emmanuel College and Southern Wesleyan University are currently completing the NCAA Membership Process and will be fully competing in league championships in the near future.