NEW YORK – National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern was the keynote speaker at the 2010-11 Columbia men's basketball banquet, which served as one of the final gatherings of this year's squad.
Posting a 15-13 record in the first season under head coach Kyle Smith, the atmosphere in Columbia University's Low Library was a festive one, befitting the occasion.
Smith, Athletics Director Dianne Murphy and John Vaske '88, Chair of the Men's Basketball Advisory Committee all spoke to the crowd, along with Stern, who urged the students in the audience "to be excellent at whatever you do" and embrace the opportunity of being able to take classes and play basketball at Columbia, before hosting a question and answer session with the crowd.
Jeff Peate '03 was the recipient of the Alumni award, while senior Max Craig gained the Feinberg Family award, given to a member of the team who displayed an outstanding commitment to the greater Columbia community.
Junior Matt Johnson gained the Jason Wachob award, given to a member of the team "who in the estimation of his teammates and coaches, fought through adversity and never gave up on his teammates or himself."
Senior Asenso Ampim was a double winner on the night, earning the team's Defensive Player of the Year award, along with the Sheldon Preschel Memorial award, given to a junior or senior member of the team who achieved the best cumulative grade point average through the previous fall semester.
Sophomore Brian Barbour took home the Walter H. Bernson Memorial award, given to the member of the team who best exemplifies the qualities of team spirit, hustle and determination.
The Raymond J. Fullerton Memorial award, given to that member of the team who, in the estimation of his teammates and coaches, is judged to be the most valuable in terms of spirit, team play and skill, was awarded to junior Noruwa Agho, who gained first team All-Ivy League honors after an outstanding junior season.
Former Lion hoopster Joe Case '02 produced a first-class highlight video, documenting the 2010-11 season in a tidy 10-minute package that elicited thunderous applause from the Low Library attendees at the end of the evening.