April 9, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Alex Zampier, who finished second on the team in scoring (13.2 ppg.) this winter and earned honorable mention All-Ivy recognition, has been elected captain of the 2009-10 Yale men's basketball team. The announcement was made at the annual post-season banquet on Wednesday night following a team vote.
"I never would have thought that I would be the captain of the Yale basketball team growing up," Zampier said. "I instantly have an extremely big responsibility placed on me, but it is a responsibility I am eager to accept. I hope to lead by example by working hard and being disciplined and focused."
Zampier, who credited his family and his mentor, Curtis Sankey, for his success, also was the recipient of the Eggie Miles Award as the team's top foul shooter. He led the Ivy League in free throw percentage with an .848 mark, the fourth best in a single season in school history. In addition, he was second in the league in steals with 42 and eighth in scoring.
"Alex will lead with a quiet passion and an even keel spirit," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "The other seniors will support Alex in every endeavor, while taking their fair share of the responsibilities."
"Those three will have just as big of a role as I do," Zampier said. "They will have a very strong voice in every decision process we go through as a team. We have been great friends since we visited Yale before our freshman year, and over the past three years our bond has only grown stronger."
Zampier, an East Greenbush, N.Y., native, takes over the captaincy from Ross Morin.
"I learned from Ross that I will have to forget about my personal struggles quickly and not let my emotions show because the other players will be looking up to me," Zampier said. "Ross demonstrated that quality, and I learned a lot from his mental toughness."
Six other players received awards at the banquet. The Dutch Arnold Award as Yale's most valuable player was presented to Morin for the second consecutive year. He led the team in scoring (13.6 ppg.) and rebounding (5.9 rpg.) and earned second team All-Ivy recognition. He led Yale in scoring in 14 games and had four double-doubles, including a 20-point, 10-rebound performance in a victory over Brown.
Chris Andrews was the recipient of the Stan Smith Senior Award. Andrews returned to the lineup after missing virtually all of the last two years with two separate knee injuries He started all 14 Ivy games and led the team in assists with 79.
Travis Pinick won the George McReynolds Awards as the team's top defensive player for the second straight year. He was fifth in the Ivy League in steals and seventh in rebounding en route to earning second team all-league honors. In two games against Dartmouth, he held Ivy League Player of the Year Alex Barnett to 9-for-37 shooting from the field and 12.5 points per game, nearly seven below his league-leading average. In addition, Pinick also contributed offensively. He shot .560 from the field and averaged 10.8 points.
The Richard Derby Academic Award was presented to Ari Greenberg for an unprecedented fourth straight year. Greenberg was unable to play this season due to injury but still made a major contribution to the team. The Derby Award has now been in the Greenberg family for six straight years. His older brother Josh received the award in 2004 and 2005.
Garrett Fiddler was the recipient of the Josh Hill Award for hard work and dedication. After appearing in 20 games off the bench and averaging 1.3 points as a freshman, Fiddler was one of only two players to start all 28 games this winter. He averaged 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds and led Yale in blocks.
Greg Mangano received the John C. Cobb Award as Yale's top freshman. Mangano, who appeared in 20 games, averaged 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds and had 13 blocks. He led the team with eight points in the game at Cornell.
In addition to the awards, Morin was presented with a ball to commemorate his scoring 1,000 career points. He finished his 1,021 points. Pinick also received a ball signifying his pulling down 500 rebounds. He grabbed 518 rebounds in four years.
The Bulldogs finished 2008-09 with a 13-15 overall record and were 8-6 in Ivy play. Yale and Princeton finished in a second-place tie. The Bulldogs are one of only 18 schools in the country to finish in the top four in their conference in each of the last six years.
Yale is tentatively scheduled to open the 2009-10 season on Nov. 13 against Sacred Heart at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity