Nassar Ssempa named 2017

Nassar Ssempa named 2017 "Heart of a Lion Award" Recipient

Fri, Apr. 28, 2017 - [FHU News]

Matt Barker, Sports Information Director

HENDERSON, Tenn. - Freed-Hardeman men's soccer player Nassar Ssempa was honored Thursday at the Sports Advisory Council Benefit as the 2017 Heart of a Lion Award recipient, as presented by Freed-Hardeman Athletic Director Mike McCutchen.

The Charlie Smith Heart of a Lion Award is given annually to a FHU senior athlete who has demonstrated qualities of courage, determination, hard work, exemplary performance and service to others. Athletes are nominated and voted on by the Freed-Hardeman University Athletics staff.

Ssempa, a midfielder from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, joined the Lion soccer program five games into the season his freshman year, but after his arrival he rarely came off the field for the remainder of his career.

He was a fixture on the field during the 2014 season, starting all 15 matches and using his energy to get scoring runs started from his spot in the center midfield. During his junior campaign, Ssempa started 14 matches and attempted six shots and three shots on goal.

Ssempa capped off his career with the Lions on a solid note this season, as he racked up 1st-Team All Conference honors at the Midfield position while firing in seven shots and dishing out two assists.

"Nassar has a wonderful attitude and is highly respected by everyone who knows him," said FHU Athletic Director Mike McCutchen. "He is well-deserving of this award."

Jason Elliott, head coach for the Lion soccer program, said Ssempa was well deserving of the honor as a result of his strong work ethic on and off the field.

"Nassar has been an example for all of us to follow," said Elliott. "His work ethic has been remarkable during his time here at Freed-Hardeman.  Whether it is the countless hours he spends on and off the field to improve, his positive attitude while greeting everyone with a smile or his relentless pursuit of his goals, I know he has left his mark on all of us. We have all been blessed to have him at Freed-Hardeman and look forward to seeing the great things he will continue to do in his future."

Ssempa becomes the 15th student athlete to be honored with the Heart of a Lion Award, dating back to the award's institution in 2004.


2004: Jessica Woodard
2005: Erin Nicholson
2006: Hannah Wood
2007: Renata Pedreira
2008: Megan Thompson
2009: Wesley Mayes
2010: Jana Cross
2011: Meribeth Boehler 
2012: Archibold Marowa
2013: Maria Bagwell
2014: Kyle Dearing
2015: Hayley Newby/Vincent Dotson
2016: Ana Aponte