Montana State University defensive back Jordan Craney was chosen as one of the 2010 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars, according to the recent Diverse Issues in Higher Ed Magazine, which publishes the honors every year.

Craney, a senior in business marketing, maintains a 3.28 grade point average in addition to running his own business, and volunteering in his spare time. The awards were established "to honor undergraduates of color who have made achieving both academically and athletically a winning combination," according to the magazine.

Craney was nominated for the award by Jonathan Taylor, Academic/Life Skills Coordinator at MSU.

"We've nominated students for the last three years and our nominees have been honored each year. It started with Nubia Garcia (women's basketball) in 2008 and Esteban Ferrero (men's tennis) last year," Taylor said.

"Jordan fits all the criteria of the award," Taylor said. "He is a leader in the classroom, is the heart of our secondary on the football team, and is an active volunteer."

Craney has volunteered with the Big for a Day program with Bozeman Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and has participated in D.A.R.E. both in Bozeman and in Pocatello, Idaho, his hometown.

"My mom is a principal in Pocatello so that gives me some opportunities to go into the schools when I am down there," Craney said. "I enjoy the volunteering even though I don't have a lot of free time."

Part of the reason Craney is so busy is that he is the manager of a local College Pro Painters franchise here in Bozeman.

"Being a marketing major, I thought it would be good experience for me about the real world job market," Craney said.

He is entering his fourth year of school and eligibility, and will graduate in May. He has aspirations of entering the marketing field with an athletics bent.

"Once you are deeply involved in athletics, it's hard to get away from it," Craney said. "I'd like to take my degree and use it somewhere at the university or professional level. I'm going to try and stick in athletics as long as I can."

Track and field

MSU SIGNS SPRINTER FROM BILLINGS CENTRAL: Montana State track and field coach Dale Kennedy has announced the signing of sprinter Marissa Stanton of Billings Central.

Stanton won the state Class A title in the 400 meters after finishing second in 2009. She placed third at state in the 200 and ran a leg on both state champion relay teams for Billings Central.

Kennedy says Stanton will compete in the 400 and be a relay candidate for the Bobcats, and may eventually be able to compete in the 800 meters.

Basketball

LOCAL TEAMS SHINE IN SALT LAKE: The RIM ALL-STARS played in the Mountain Jam Salt Lake City AAU Regional Tournament on July 1-3. The 12-year-old team placed third in its pool, with Bozeman's Drew Mead leading all scorers, averaging 17 points per game. He also connected on 14 of 20 3-point attempts over a two-game span and finished 22 of 40 overall.

Making the all-tournament team from Montana were: Laden Ricketts (Livingston), Tanner Amdahl (Helena), Mitchell Reynolds (Missoula), Andrew Grinde (Great Falls), Riley Lamb (Helena) and Mead.

The high school team placed third as well. Bozeman's Lincoln Powers led all scorers for RIM throughout the tournament. His performance included 27 points in the final game to secure third place. The players for the high school team include: Trent Burton (Stillwater Christian), Jess Pummel (Heritage Christian), Taylor Mullins (Bozeman), Tyson Holland (Great Falls), Shad Stanford (Savage High), Brandon Rydberg (Bozeman) and Nathan Hart (Heritage Christian).

Both RIM All-Star teams will be competing in the Big Sky State Games and then finishing this year's schedule in Las Vegas on July 22-25 at the AAU West Coast National Championship Tournament. RIM Basketball was created by Randy Mead to give Montana basketball players opportunities to play against regional and national competition in the summer months. For more information or to register for upcoming all-star team tryouts in early August, go to www.rimbasketball.net.

Flag football

YMCA HOSTING MINI-CAMP: The Gallatin Valley YMCA is hosting a mini-camp for flag football. The three-day camp will be held Aug. 3-5 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Montana State University fields.

The camp will teach the fundamentals of flag football to children entering grades kindergarten to fourth grade. The cost is $50 and scholarships are available to those who qualify. The registration deadline is July 30 at 3:30 p.m.

Visit www.gallatinvalleyymca.org for more information.