- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2017

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - There’s not much Aiken High School senior Frelicia Tucker doesn’t have already. She’s among the top 1 percent of students in her class. She’s a decorated athlete with state championships.

She also won the Wendy's High School Heisman award last month, which is a national honor given to the top prep athlete that displays great qualities on and off the field. Tucker even decided where she would attend college recently - Rice University.

The only thing Tucker didn’t have yet was a day of her own, but that all changed Wednesday. Mayor Rick Osbon was on hand at Aiken High School’s rivalry basketball game Tuesday night to announce that the next day, Jan. 11 2016, was Frelicia Tucker Day in the City of Aiken. It was a pleasant surprise for Tucker.

“Honestly, I thought I would just get my banner that’s going to come in soon, but I got a day. That is so cool,” Tucker said. “I’m really grateful for my city for doing this. It’s awesome.”

Tucker has been a big part of the Aiken community for years. She is a member of the Aiken High School tennis and track teams and various clubs at the school. She also has had an impact in various charitable efforts in the area.

Tucker’s leadership has led her to becoming the student body president at Aiken High School. She is the state NAACP youth president, as well. In 2016, she shined as she delivered a speech on education equality in Columbia in front of Democratic presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as well as thousands attending.

“I don’t have any words for this,” Tucker said. “I’ve been talking about how much this award means to me, but my community and my city is a another level. It’s fascinating. Wow.”

The High School Heisman was created by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas in 1994 in partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust, which awards the Heisman Memorial Trophy every year to college football’s top player.

Tucker became the first national winner of the award from the state of South Carolina. She was selected from a field of high school seniors at more than 30,000 schools around the country. She earned a $10,000 college scholarship and other awards.

“I want people to feel like I feel right now,” Tucker said. “So, I really just want to mentor youth and let them know they don’t have to make excuses for themselves. They can be great themselves, and maybe this could happen for them.

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Information from: Aiken Standard, https://www.aikenstandard.com

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