UCLA middle McHenry wins 2024 Dain Blanton Diversity Award

Photo by Vinnie Lopes

Add one more national accolade to the college career of UCLA middle attacker Merrick McHenry

Off the Block announced Wednesday that a nationwide voting committee selected McHenry as the recipient of the 2024 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 championships and earning numerous All-American honors.


McHenry had a career-high .585 attack percentage and had nine matches with double-digit kills, including 10 kills on a .818 attack percentage against Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament finals. The middle attacker also was in the nation’s top 15 with a 0.99 blocks per game average and had a career-high 38 aces.

The voting committee for the Dain Blanton Diversity Award was comprised of more than 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.

McHenry garnered 40 votes – more combined votes than the other finalists. Penn State middle attacker Toby Ezeonu finished in second place with 13 votes, while Ohio State outside attacker Jacob Pasteur ended in third place with 12 votes.

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

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.

2024 Dain Blanton Diversity Award voting results

1. Merrick McHenry, UCLA – 40 votes
2. Toby Ezeonu, Penn State – 13 votes
3. Jacob Pasteur, Ohio State – 12 votes
4. Raje Alleyne, Quincy – 11 votes
5. Cameron Thorne, Grand Canyon – 8 votes
6. Tinaishe Ndavazocheva, Ball State – 7 votes
7. Sotiris Siapanis, Long Beach State – 6 votes
T-8. Jaxon Hicks, Fort Valley State – 3 votes
T-8. Akhil Tangutur, UC Irvine – 3 votes
T-8. Guilherme Voss, Hawai’i – 3 votes
T-11. Sean Califf, Daemen – 2 votes
T-11. Jibriel Elhaddad, Belmont Abbey – 2 votes
T-11. Isaiah Fedd, Fort Valley State – 2 votes
T-14. Ras Jesse Delancy, Charleston – 1 vote
T-14. D’Aaron McCraney, McKendree – 1 vote