April 13, 2007
DREXEL HILL, PA - Sophomore Ahmad Nivins was presented with the John P. Hilferty Memorial Award, given to the Most Valuable Player of the Saint Joseph's basketball team at the 52nd annual SJU Men's Basketball Awards Banquet held at Drexelbrook Catering on Friday evening. He is the first sophomore to earn the award since Jameer Nelson shared it with Bill Phillips in his second season in 2002.
Junior Pat Calathes earned the Robert F. O'Neill Award as the team's Most Improved Player while senior Artur Surov received the George Senesky Memorial Academic Award for outstanding academic achievement.
Nivins earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team honors this season, leading the Hawks in scoring and rebounding with career-best averages of 16.6 points and 7.5 rebounds. Also an NABC All-District selection, he topped the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage (63.1 percent). The 6-9 center scored in double figures in 26 games, while notching 20-plus points on eight occasions.
Calathes, a 6-10 swing player, also posted career-best numbers this season to earn selection to the All-Atlantic 10 Third Team. Calathes averaged 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, a drastic increase from his averages of 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds from a year ago. The junior led the Hawks in free throw percentage (84.6) and set the school record this season with 38 consecutive free throws.
Surov, a four-year member of the team, will graduate in May with his degree in management.
The Patrick D. O'Pake Memorial Award for the team's "Unsung Hero" was awarded to director of basketball operations Rob Sullivan while senior manager Dan Timby was the recipient of the William J. Bennett Memorial Award, recognizing dedication and service to SJU basketball. The Michael J. Conway Memorial Award for a person who has given back to the University was presented to Pat McGrory, a former Hawk mascot. Alum Dan Griffin, the president of the Hawk Hoop Club, received the William F. Maher Memorial Award given to the person who exhibits loyalty.
The Emory Ross Sixth Man Award was presented to a group of Saint Joseph's students - Glenn Todaro, Cristin Cody, T.J. DeLucia, Joe Guerra, Dan McDevitt, and Kealy Ryan - recognizing their support.
The Hawks finished 2006-07 with an 18-14 record, but return all five starters and 13 of 14 players next year, with the exception of the graduating Surov.