Fisk's Armstead to be presented with 2024 Perry Wallace Award

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA)Jeremiah Armstead, who overcame homelessness throughout his high school years to earn a spot on the basketball team at Fisk University, is the winner of the 2024 Perry Wallace Most Courageous Award. Armstead, a 6-foot-5 sophomore forward from Long Beach, Calif., will be honored April 8 at the USBWA Awards Luncheon at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Glendale, Ariz.

“My life has changed so much over the last two years,” Armstead told The Tennessean. “I didn’t think I was going to go to college. I didn’t think about an experience like this ever happening because of the situation and the circumstances we had going on. I would spend long nights talking to God, so I’ve waited on something like this to happen. And now that it’s happened it’s not stopping. I have been blessed and all I can do is thank the Lord. I wouldn’t be here without Him.”

The 2023-24 season marks the 47th time the USBWA has presented a Most Courageous Award. Armstead becomes the first winner from an HBCU institution.

"It’s a thrill to honor Jeremiah and further share his story of perseverance," said USBWA President Brendan Quinn of The Athletic. "In so many ways, Perry Wallace’s legacy is one defining the power of believing in one’s self. That’s exactly what Jeremiah has done both in basketball and life. It will be wonderful to celebrate with him in Glendale."

Armstead, who has played in 12 games this season scoring eight points, first received national attention when a story in the Washington Post in September 2022 described his days at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in California when he would ask to be dropped off at a convenience store near the domestic violence shelter where he stayed with his mother and siblings.

Past recipients include Steve Kerr of the University of Arizona, Landon Turner of Indiana University, David Rivers of the University of Notre Dame, North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano and Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson. During the 2020-21 season, the award was named in honor of Perry Wallace of Vanderbilt University, the first Black basketball player in the Southeastern Conference.

Several women were honored with this award before 2012, when the association created annual recognition for women’s basketball with the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award, named after the late Hall of Fame coach at the University of Tennessee. This season's recipient will be announced shortly.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With more than 800 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. The USBWA has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at