Satch Sanders Featured Speaker at Men's Basketball Banquet

BOSTON, Mass.- The Harvard men's basketball team held its annual Awards Banquet Friday evening at the Harvard Club of Boston to put the finishing touches on a record-setting 2009-10 season. A large crowd of friends, family, administrators, alumni and media members were greeted and addressed by former Celtics great and Harvard head coach Satch Sanders.

Sanders spoke at length about the improvement, talent and toughness of the Harvard men’s team under head coach Tommy Amaker. Sanders also spoke about lessons in life, relationships and team unity before noting his commitment to closely follow the Crimson in the future.  

The Crimson’s four seniors – Dan McGeary, Pat Magnarelli, Doug Miller, and Jeremy Lin - were all recognized at the event and were awarded framed uniforms as a gift from the Friends of Harvard Men’s Basketball and Tom Stemberg.

The five major awards, which were voted on by team members, were announced. The first varsity award handed out was the Henry Zimmerman Free Throw Shooting Accuracy Award, which went to freshman Christian Webster who made 57 of 65 attempts (.877) including a 19-for-19 mark in Ivy play. He made his last 23 free throws of the season and 34 of his last 36. 

Next was the Floyd S. Wilson Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to the Harvard player whose respect for sportsmanship recalls the manner and values of Floyd Wilson, head coach of Harvard from 1954 through 1968. That award went to senior co-captain Doug Miller, who started all 29 games this season, averaging 18.0 minutes per game and shooting 53 percent overall from the floor.

Next, the John Harnice ’84 Spirit Award, which is presented to the player who best exemplifies John’s spirit, dedication, and concern for his fellow man. Sophomore point guard Oliver McNally took home the honor. McNally started 19 of his 29 games, shooting 52 percent overall and 50 percent from 3-point range in Ivy League play. He averaged 7.0 points per game and had 87 assists to just 41 turnovers on the year with 32 assists to 10 turnovers in Ivy play.

Next was the Hamilton Fish '10 Award, presented annually to the Most Improved Player on the Harvard men's basketball team. The award is named for the former Harvard football All-America, whose commitment to improving himself and the lives of others was evidenced throughout his life. Fish was a hero in the first World War, and later served as a distinguished congressman from New York. In a rarity, the award was shared by freshmen Kyle Casey and Brandon Curry – both of whom exploded for the Crimson at the midway part of the season.

Casey was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and earned top rookie honors four times during the season while also becoming the first rookie to win a weekly player of the week honor in over eight years. In all, Casey reached double figures in scoring 11 times while leading the Crimson in rebounding 12 times.

Curry meanwhile, earned rookie of the week honors in each of the last two weeks of the regular season. He averaged 7.3 point per game average with 93 assists to just 59 turnovers, a .431 3-point shooting mark and a .815 free throw mark. He also ranked second on the team with 37 steals and made a name for himself as a threat to earn a five-second call at any time in the game. 

Next, the Raymond P. Lavietes ’36 Most Valuable Player Award was presented. Named for the former standout and loyal supporter of Harvard’s athletic programs, Ray Lavietes was a model of generosity, mentoring, friendship and philanthropy. His mantra was quality of life for players at all levels. Senior Jeremy Lin earned the honor for the third straight year, becoming just the third player in school history to win the award three times (Donald Flemming ’82 and Matt Stehle ’06).

Just having returned from an impressive performance at the Portsmouth Invitational, Lin capped his Harvard career by becoming the first player in the history of the Ivy League to record 1,450 points (1,471), 450 rebounds (487), 400 assists (401) and 200 steals (224). He ranks first all-time at Harvard in games played (114) at the school, fifth in points (1,471), fifth in assists (401) and second in steals (224).