A conference Player of the Year who led his team to a national championship, the most prolific pass receiver in school history and the ACC’s winningest women’s tennis player ever have been named as this year’s recipients of the Patterson Medal, the most prestigious athletic honor presented by North Carolina. Basketball star Justin Jackson will share the men’s medal while Hayley Carter is the 2017 women’s winner. Jackson is the 30th men’s basketball player to win the Patterson Medal and the second in as many years. Marcus Paige won it in 2016. A consensus first-team All-American, the 6-foot-8 junior led the Tar Heels in scoring at 18.3 points per game in 2016-17 while setting a single-season school record by making 105 3-point baskets. He is one of only three UNC players, joining Lennie Rosenbluth in 1957 and Ty Lawson in 2009, to win ACC Player of the Year honors and a national championship in the same year. Jackson finished his college career with 1,626 points. He was recently drafted by the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Switzer is the 35th football player to win a Patterson Medal and the fourth during the tenure of current coach Larry Fedora. Despite being undersized at 5-10, 174 pounds, Switzer set school records with 244 receptions, 2,907 receiving yards, 1,082 punt return yards and seven punt returns for touchdowns. He also owns the single-season school record with 96 catches, set in 2016. Switzer’s seven punt return touchdowns are an ACC record. His five touchdown returns in 2013 are an NCAA mark. Switzer helped the Tar Heels win 19 games and an ACC Coastal Division championship during his final two seasons. He was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Carter, the second women’s tennis player to win a Patterson Medal, won 168 singles matches, the most in ACC history, and was a seven-time ITA All-America. She is the only women’s tennis player to be named the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and ACC Tournament MVP in consecutive seasons. During her UNC career, Carter compiled a 168-25 record in singles and 126-23 in doubles. She led the Tar Heels to a four-year record of 123-14, 53-3 in ACC regular-season play, four regular-season ACC titles, two ACC Tournament championships, three NCAA Tournament top-eight finishes, including second in 2014, and the 2015 ITA Indoor national championship. The Patterson Medal is based primarily on career athletic accomplishments. The recipients must have played at least three seasons for the Tar Heels. Sportsmanship and leadership are also considered. Dr. Joseph Patterson first presented the medal in 1924 to honor the memory of his brother, John Durand Patterson.
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Justin Jackson came into the season looking to elevate his game to elite status for the North Carolina basketball team. Dennis Smith Jr. came to NC State looking to live up to the hype that […]