Lewis middle Mitchem wins 2022 Dain Blanton Diversity Award

Photo by T.J. Breshears

Lewis middle attacker Tyler Mitchem is a repeat winner of a college men’s volleyball national award.

Off the Block announced Monday that a nationwide voting committee selected Mitchem as the recipient of the 2022 Dain Blanton Diversity Award.

The Dain Blanton Diversity Award, which is named after the former Pepperdine All-American and U.S. Olympian, recognizes the top NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball player during the regular season of a minority ethnicity.

This is the only national award in college men’s volleyball created specifically to celebrate the outstanding individual performances of minority players. Players of all backgrounds have significantly contributed throughout the history of college men’s volleyball helping teams win NCAA champions and earning numerous All-American honors.

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Mitchem was seventh in the nation with a .438 attack percentage and had a career-high 3.19 kills per game average. The middle attacker also was third in the nation averaging 1.34 blocks per game, including having six blocks in an upset sweep against UCLA in January.

The voting committee for the Dain Blanton Diversity Award was comprised of about 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball media members from around the nation. The top-three vote-getters were named finalists for this national award.

Mitchem garnered 22 votes and edged out Pepperdine opposite Jaylen Jasper by one vote to win the award. Ohio State’s Jacob Pasteur finished in third place with 12 votes.

This is the fourth year that Off the Block has presented the Dain Blanton Diversity Award.

The Dain Blanton Diversity Award is one of several end of season awards presented by Off the Block. Among the other national awards includes the Lloy Ball Award to the nation’s top setter, the Karch Kiraly Award to the nation’s top outside attacker, the Bryan Ivie Award to the nation’s top opposite, the Erik Shoji Award to the nation’s top libero and the Ryan Millar Award to the nation’s top middle attacker.

Off the Block is a national award winning website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.

2022 Dain Blanton Diversity Award voting results

1. Tyler Mitchem, Lewis – 22 votes
2. Jaylen Jasper, Pepperdine – 21 votes
3. Jacob Pasteur, Ohio State – 12 votes
4. Merrick McHenry, UCLA – 8 votes
5. Sam Kobrine, USC – 4 votes
T-6. Chaz Galloway, Hawai’i – 3 votes
T-6. Evens Edouard, Edward Waters – 3 votes
T-8. Suetonius Harris, King – 2 votes
T-8. Michael de la Cruz – 2 votes
T-8. Kevin Kobrine, UCLA – 2 votes
T-11. Spencer Olivier, Long Beach State – 1 vote
T-11. Edgerrin Austin, Erskine – 1 vote