Pitt's Conley Earns Dick Kadis Award

PITTSBURGH–Pitt baseball senior left fielder Sean Conley was named the 2008 recipient of the Dick Kadis Award, it was announced by the Beaver County Hall of Fame on Thursday. The annual award is presented to an outstanding college student-athlete from Beaver County who has completed their final year of collegiate eligibility.

Conley will be presented with the Dick Kadis Award at the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame banquet on Sunday, April 27, at The Fez Wedding and Banquet Facility in Hopewell Township, Pa. Geneva College, located in Beaver Falls, Pa., sponsors the award that bears the name of one of its former standout student-athletes, Dick Kadis. Kadis was an exceptional football player at Geneva who tragically sustained a life-altering injury while recovering a fumble during a Geneva football game. Kadis would later collapse and fall into a coma when boarding the bus home. Even though Kadis emerged from the coma some time later, his life was forever-changed as he was in need of full-time care. In and out of hospitals and nursing homes, Kadis passed away in October of 1979 at the age of 43.

Each year since Kadis' passing, the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame has carried on the student-athlete's remarkable tradition with the award that bears his name. Pitt has produced five Kadis Award winners, with the most recent being tennis standout Nikki Borza, the 2003 recipient.

Conley (Chippewa, Pa./Blackhawk) marks the sixth student-athlete from Pitt, as well as the sixth graduate of Blackhawk High School to have been bestowed the honor. Pitt alumnus and current head coach of the Xavier University men's basketball team, Sean Miller was the first Blackhawk recipient of the award for his performance on the basketball court during his collegiate career. Miller is currently the head coach for the Xavier University men's basketball team.

Throughout his career at Pitt, Conley has exhibited what it truly means to be a "student-athlete," excelling both on the field and in the classroom. As an economics major, he has maintained an impressive GPA, garnering All-Big East Academic Team accolades for seven-consecutive semesters. He appears to be well on his way to receiving the honor again following this, his eighth and final semester at Pitt.

Aside from his achievements in the classroom, Conley has also been recognized on numerous occasions for his performance on the diamond. Named the "Best Outfield Arm in the Big East" by Baseball America for 2008, Conley was also honored as a member of the Preseason All-Big East team prior to the start of his senior campaign.

The left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing outfielder was named Big East Player of the Week by the conference office for the week of March 3, after his game-changing contributions. Conley has been a powerful offensive force for the Panthers during 2008, as he currently leads the team in numerous statistical categories, including batting average (.352), slugging percentage (.614), total bases (64), hits (31), RBI (29) and home runs (six).

Conley's team-high 29 RBI thus far not only rank him among the leaders in the Big East, but also in the nation. Conley garnered some national attention earlier this week when he found himself ranked 30th among all NCAA Division-I baseball players in RBI per game, posting an average of 1.38.

Extending his talents even further, Conley has also devoted time and effort to serving his community. While at Pitt, the senior has represented the University on both the Student Advisory Council and the Student Leadership Council. He's also been involved in various volunteer projects, from coaching young baseball players to visiting sick patients at Children's Hospital in Oakland.

Tickets to the event are still available by contacting Chad Calabria at 724-775-2368 or 412-638-0315. Tickets are priced at $30, which includes admission to the event and dinner.

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