Bears Honored for Amazing Season

May 7, 2003

The Women's Basketball team held their annual Post Season Banquet with Gordon Morton (Brown '93) of the Brown University Sports Foundation as the emcee. The 2002-2003 squad, coaching staff, support staff, friends and special guests listened to the amazing accomplishments achieved by this year's team.

Improving their record from a 5-22 mark last season to 15-12 this season, one of the most improved teams in the country, going from last in the conference to being tied for second after posting a 9-5 Ivy League record. The Bears recorded six Rookie of the Week Honors and two Player of the Week honors. Brown was first in the Ivy League in team field goal percentage defense, blocked shots, and steals. They were second in the League in team field goal percentage, offensive rebounds per game, and defensive rebounds per game.

Brown had three Conference sweeps of Yale, Columbia, and Princeton and went on a seven game winning streak from January 5th to February 1st. In tournament action the Bears finished second in their own Bank RI Brown Classic and third in the Villanova Wildcat Christmas Classic.

As is tradition in Brown BEAR Basketball there were six post season awards given to members of the team. The Hustle Award, Sixth Player Award, Most Valuable Defender, Most Improved Player, Harriet Sheridan Leadership Award, and the Most Valuable Player were awarded to different members of the 2002-2003 squad.

The Hustle Award is given to the teammate who gave the extra 10% physically and mentally. She displayed a competitive attitude by pushing herself and her teammates day in and day out with a fearless and relentless attitude. This year's recipient is freshman Sarah Hayes (Beaufort, SC). Hayes was a five-time Rookie of the Week selection and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year for her freshman campaign.

Sophomore Holly Robertson (Cochrane, Alberta) was this year's recipient of the Sixth Player Award. This award is given to the player who was a spark off the bench. She took pride in her role and showed support for her teammates throughout the season. Robertson started the first eight games for the Bears, after sitting out a few games due to injury, she battled back to be the number one player off the bench. Robertson finished the season averaging 7.4 ppg and 4.2 rpg.

The Bears led the Ivy League in field goal percentage scored by the defense largely because of freshman Ashley Van Kurin (Yorba Linda, CA). Van Kurin was awarded Most Valuable Defender honors for her performance this season. This award is given the player who displayed the most consistency and intensity on defense throughout the season.

Head Coach Jean Marie Burr threw the team for a loop with the next award, the Most Improved Player. This Award is given to the player who has shown the most improvement through her dedication to practice and determination to achieve a new level of play. Burr awarded the entire team with this award, because of the team effort in turning the Brown BEAR Program around.

Junior Miranda Craigwell (Weston, MA) was awarded the Harriet Sheridan Leadership Award. This honor is given to the teammate recognized as having an impact on the overall unity of the team. The individual who sacrificed personal gain for the benefit of the team's goals and took extra steps to keep everyone focused. Craigwell was co-captain for the second season in a row, this is also the second time she has been awarded with this honor.

The final award given at the banquet was to the Most Valuable Player. This award is given to the player who made the biggest impact on the overall play of the team. She has made strong statistical contributions as well as being consistent in her daily work ethic.

This year two players were honored with this award including junior Tanara Golston (Skokie, IL). Golston earned Player of the Week honors once throughout the year and led the 2002-2003 squad in assists with 129, averaging 4.8 per game.

Hayes also earned Most Valuable Player honors from her teammates after finishing the season averaging 10.0 ppg and 6.6 rpg. Making her second on the team in rebounds (177) and fourth in scoring (270). Hayes was also second on the team in both assists (69) and steals (60) averaging 2.6 assists per game and 2.2 steals per game.

The banquet ended with special guest Robin Rose. Rose spoke of the friendship she had with a friend, who lost her life to cancer six months ago after a long fought battle. Rose said that she and her friend looked at every task with the same motto, "it can't be that hard." The friendships that you make with the people on your team can be friendships for life, there is nothing you can not do as long as you do it together. Rose reiterated Brown Athletic Director Dave Roach's message to the team, which was, "don't sing a song just to get to the end."