Duval County

UNF student-athlete Mahalia White wins national CWSA Honda Inspiration Award

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For the first time in UNF Athletics history, the Ospreys have a Honda Cup Award winner as North Florida volleyball’s Mahalia White has been chosen to receive the Collegiate Women Sports Awards presented by Honda.


White will be honored in Los Angeles on Monday, June 26, and the ceremony will broadcast live on CBS Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. EST.

The CWSA has honored an Inspiration Award winner for the past 35 years, a laurel given to a female student-athlete in any of the three NCAA Divisions that has overcome an extraordinary trial during her respective collegiate career before achieving success.

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White advanced through a national slate of nominations to be included in the final stage of three nominees. Her story was included in a half-hour feature on CBS Sports Network this Monday, alongside Denver women’s gymnastics’ Lynnzee Brown and Harvard women’s lacrosse’s Grace Taylor.

White is a UNF graduate student majoring in communication management with a concentration in leadership. After being named Big West Freshman of the Year in 2017 at UC Davis, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Sitting out in 2018 during her battle with cancer, White rebounded to be named to the All-Big West Team in 2019.

Then, a new set of hurdles were introduced. After the delay of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, White suffered an ACL tear in 2021. Once again, she persevered her way to the court, graduating from UC Davis and transferring to North Florida where she was named to the All-ASUN team and earned the honor as the ASUN Fall Winner for Life representative from North Florida.

White’s success on the court and in the classroom has been recognized by the ASUN and national outlets, but her story of overcoming Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, as well as an ACL tear has made her a true inspiration.

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