The 2012-13 Kansas State basketball year was one to celebrate and that's just what the Wildcats did Tuesday evening at the team's annual banquet.
President Kirk Schulz made mention that in Bruce Weber's first season, the Wildcat Big 12 Coach of the Year led K-State to a first conference championship since the 1977 season, while the 27 overall victories rank second high in school history, and the 14 league wins is the most ever.
Athletics director John Currie then made mention of how this group "… took nothing for granted and from their freshman year, this senior class became K-State's all-time winningest group with 101 victories."
Weber added the facts that the seniors (Jordan Henriquez, Martavious Irving and Rodney McGruder) went to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments and made mention on how eight members of the team made the Big 12 Commissioner's academic honor roll.
And, it was an opportunity for all to give their thanks.
Weber said, "You're no better than the people around you. You can't do it on your own." And that included the fans who cheered the Wildcats to a 16-1 record in games played in Bramlage Coliseum.
When it came to handing out awards, Rodney McGruder was recognized as the Fort Riley Never Broken Award, Tex Winter Top Offensive Player, and the Rolando Blackman Most Valuable Player.
Ranking in the Top 10 in 14 different categories in KSU history, Weber said of McGruder, who only along with Bob Boozer ranks in the Top 10 in scoring and rebounding, "That tells you he brought everything, every day."
"Brought everything every day," said Weber. Each member of the K-State team received an NCAA certificate and watch, plus the four KSU senior student managers – Steven Mitchell, Patrick Schulte, Dennan Morrow and AJ Vinent – received watches.
Here's a list of K-State's award winners:
• Fort Riley Never Broken Award: Rodney McGruder
• Ernie Barrett Play Hard Award: Angel Rodriguez
• Keith Amerson Academic Award: Brian Rohleder
• Dean Harris Newcomer of the Year: D.J. Johnson
• Bob Boozer Courage Award: Will Spradling
• Porky Morgan Most Inspirational Player: Martavious Irving
• Ed Nealy Most Improved Player: Shane Southwell
• Jack Hartman Top Defensive Player: Angel Rodriguez
• Tex Winter Top Offensive Player: Rodney McGruder
• Mitch Richmond Mr. Basketball Award: Jordan Henriquez
• Rolando Blackman Most Valuable Player: Rodney McGruder
CHAMBERS JOINS LA SPARKS
Kansas State senior sensation Brittany Chambers was a second round draft choice of the Los Angeles Sparks Monday night in the WNBA Draft.
In addition, 2012 graduate Jalana Childs has received a tryout opportunity with the Phoenix Mercury.
The Sparks placed second in the Western Conference standing with a 24-10 record. Chambers is only the seventh player in K-State history to be selected in the WNBA Draft. She joins Shalee Lehning in 2009, Kendra Wecker in 2005, Megan Mahoney in 2005, Nicole Ohlde in 2004, Shanele Stires in 2000 and Olga Firsova in 2000.
It was on Sunday night that Chambers was awarded the KSU Offensive Player, Scoring Leader Award and Rebounding Leader Award.
An honorable mention All-American and first-team All-Big 12 performer, Chambers ended her KSU career in the top-10 in 12 career categories, which include second in 3-pointers, third in scoring, fifth in rebounds and eighth in assists.