June 10, 2011
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - La Salle's Ryan Richter and Dayton's Women's Basketball team have been named the recipients of the Atlantic 10 Sportsmanship Award, in voting conducted among the Senior Woman Administrators at each of the Conference's 14 member institutions.
The Sportsmanship Award is presented annually to an A-10 male and female student-athlete or team who demonstrates an act of sportsmanship, which the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct (CSEC) defines as behaviors exhibited by student-athletes based on values, especially respect and integrity. To be nominated for the award, the student-athlete or team must be a member of an intercollegiate athletic sport sponsored by the Atlantic 10 Conference; be in good academic standing; and embody the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship.
"Congratulations to both Ryan and the Dayton women's basketball team for winning this very prestigious award," stated Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "I know it seems like we are always focused on competing and winning, but one of the most important things we do in intercollegiate athletics is develop our young people and their character reflecting total success. This is one of the really special awards presented by the Atlantic 10 Conference."
Richter has been a team leader in a variety of ways, as a student, an athlete and in his service to La Salle and those in need. He set the tone for the team all year on and off the field, participating with his teammates in service activities including Neighborhood Clean Up as well as mentoring and participating in clinics at nearby elementary schools in depressed areas of Philadelphia.
Richter is recognized around the league for his hard but fair play, his ability to put competition in the proper perspective and maintaining his code of conduct while leaving his competitive nature on the field after the game. Richter goes out of his way following the conclusion of each game to recognize the efforts of his opponents especially those players who defend him during the course of a match making it difficult for him to provide an offense explosion.
"Ryan possesses a healthy understanding of the spirit of competition," said La Salle men's soccer coach Pat Farrell. "He understands that you compete as hard as you can, meaning you always compete to win and as a fair and honest player."
Off the court, the Dayton Women's basketball program is a major contributor in the community. This year the team won the 2010-11 Flyer Challenge, a program put in place at the University of Dayton to increase student-athletes' involvement in NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills. The squad was also honored with the 2010 Erin Ritchey Memorial Volunteer Service Award, recognizing the commitment and exceptional support to individuals with disabilities. Among some of the many service projects the UD women's basketball program took part in this past year include pairing up with the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services to start the FANtastic Flyers fan club; volunteering at the Dayton Leadership Academy and Miami Valley Family Care Center; holding an annual Math Day game; honoring members of the U.S. Military on Military Appreciation night with more than 100 ROTC members sworn in at halftime; raising more than $3,600 for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund at its annual Pink Zone game.
The Flyers' women's basketball team and four-year team member Ebony Gaines garnered national attention for their compelling story this past year. Gainey was diagnosed with a rare heart disorder right before the start of the basketball season during her freshman year. Despite Gainey's condition, Dayton head coach Jim Jabir insisted that she retain her scholarship at UD, remain on the roster, travel with the team and be included in everything the Flyers did for four seasons.
Gainey never suited up for a game for the Flyers until one special moment in her final home game during her senior year. After working with Dayton administrators, the school's athletic training staff and the NCAA to gain clearance for Gainey to play in one game, the senior from Dayton, Ohio stepped on the court as a starter on Senior Day on February 26, 2011. Gainey scored the first points of the game and her career and at the 18:02 mark in the first half came out of the game to a standing ovation. Her entire UD playing career lasted one minute and 58 seconds, but it will be a memory that Gainey, her teammates, coach Jabir and those in attendance inside UD Arena will remember for a lifetime. Dayton went on to win that game 69-51.
"It really says a lot about our players that we compete at the highest level on the basketball court, reaching the NCAA Tournament the past two years, and still understand and take care of the important aspects of life," said Dayton women's basketball head coach Jim Jabir. "The team embraces and embodies the mission of the University of Dayton; linking learning and scholarship with leadership and service."
Richter was named the 2010 Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year, while earning a spot on the A-10 First Team in leading La Salle to a second place finish during the regular season and a spot in the A-10 men's soccer championship final. The senior forward concluded his playing career with 69 points on 28 goals and 13 assists. His 28 goals and 69 points rank fifth all-time in the Explorer record books, while he is tied for 10th all-time in assists. Richter became the second Explorer to be drafted by the MLS signing with the Philadelphia Union this past year.
The Southampton, Pa., native was also named the 2010 A-10 Student-Athlete of the Year. He garnered First Team Scholar All-America accolades by the NSCAA in 2010 and Second Team NSCAA Scholar East Region honors in 2009. Richter was also named to the ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team (2010) and Second Team (2009). He was honored as the 2010-11 La Salle Male Student-Athlete of the Year and graduated this past spring with a degree in Accounting while maintaining a 3.22 GPA.
"It's a lot easier when one of your senior leaders possess these qualities and characteristics, which everyone can see and then start to follow," added Farrell. "We have a fair amount of guys on our team that do the same thing. They work extremely hard on and off the field. It's about hard work, determination and being a fair and honest player, and always having respect for the game, for the opponent, for the referees, for the fans. When you have that kind of respect for the game and the people associated with the game, everybody can see it and start to follow it and start to understand what the spirit of competition is all about."
The Dayton Women's Basketball team, under the direction of Jabir, finished the year with a record of 21-12 and in a tie for third place in the A-10 regular season standings. The Flyers advanced to the A-10 Championship game for the first time in program history this past season, while earning their fourth consecutive postseason berth and second straight at-large bid to participate in the NCAA Tournament. It also marked the fourth season in a row that the Flyers reached the 20-win plateau.
The Flyers' women's basketball team finished the 2010-11 academic calendar with an overall team GPA of 3.2885. Seven members of the team were named to the 2011 Spring Dean's List, posting a 3.667 GPA or higher, including all five starters (Kristin Daugherty, Patrice Lalor, Casey Nance, Elle Queen and Justine Raterman). Kristin Daugherty and Aundrea Lindsey earned a perfect 4.0 GPA following the Spring 2011 semester, while 10 players achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. In the latest Academic Progress Rate report released by the NCAA, the Flyers posted a score of 1,000 - tops in the A-10. UD's women's basketball Graduation Success Rate was equally impressive with its four-year average at a perfect 100 percent.
Three players were named to the 2010-11 Capital One Academic All-District Teams, while Lalor and Nance are two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars. Kristin Daugherty, a Third-Team A-10 All-Conference honoree, was named the 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Women's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year.
"We are honored to receive the Atlantic 10 Women's Sportsmanship Award," added Jabir. "It indicates the high moral character of the people we bring into our program and the values held by the University of Dayton."
2010-11 - Ryan Richter, LAS (Soccer); Dayton Women's Basketball Team
2009-10 - Kyle Murray, SJU (Cross Country/Track); Brooke Darreff, SJU (Softball)
2008-09 - Christopher Post, SBU (Tennis); Erin Kelly, UM (Rowing)
2007-08 - Callum Bissett, URI (Soccer); Allysa Detroy, UD (Tennis)
2006-07 - Raman Luthra, GW (Golf); Jane Daniels, CHA (Cross Country/Track); Leah Jerome, FOR (Soccer)
2005-06 - Ryan Moore, SBU (Swimming & Diving); Courtney Klenk, URI (Cross Country/Track)
2004-05 - Riad Mehovic, FOR (Soccer); Lauren Clary, XU (Tennis)
2003-04 - Mark Porcaro, FOR (Cross Country/Track); Carrie Hucko, DUQ (Cross Country/Track)
About the A-10
The Atlantic 10 Conference was formed in 1976 and celebrates its 35th anniversary as a Division I Conference in 2010-11. Currently comprised of 14 member institutions and sponsoring 21 championship sports, the mission and goal of the Atlantic 10 is to preserve, protect, and enhance the academic and athletic pursuits of the membership. The conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for more than 6,000 student-athletes, coaches, and support staff. The member institutions of the Atlantic 10 are the University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, University of Massachusetts, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph's University, Saint Louis University, Temple University, and Xavier University.