Privateer programs gather in the Hitt Alumni & Visitors Center to celebrate accomplishments of 2016-17 academic year
NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans Athletic Department celebrated the 2016-17 school year in fine fashion on Monday evening as members of the Privateer programs gathered in the Geoghegan Grand Ballroom of the Homer L. Hitt Alumni & Visitor Center for the 2017 Blue & Silver Globes.
Coordinated and carried out by the UNO Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the Blue & Silver Globes was a lighthearted gathering of Privateer student-athletes in an effort to recognize them for their efforts on their respective fields of competition, in the classroom and around the community.
“This is a fun celebration of our year in UNO athletics, the student-athletes who have dedicated themselves to our program and our great University,” UNO Director of Athletics Derek Morel said. “I am so proud of our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, who invested their time and energy into the festivities. It has been a great year for our Privateers.”
The big winner on Monday night was senior Clayton O’Callaghan, who took home four trophies for his efforts during the men’s cross country and track and field seasons, as well as his efforts away from the field of competition. In the fall, he was named honorable-mention All-Louisiana and claimed a spot on the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll while setting the school record in the 1,000-meter run during the indoor season and winning the 3,000-meter race at the South Alabama Invitatioal during the outdoor campaign in the spring.
Headlining his awards was Mr. Privateer for exemplifying excellent character, academic, athletic, community service and team spirit. O’Callaghan was also named Most Likely To Remain At UNO Forever as the individual who truly loves everything the University has to offer and could be seen always being involved with the institution, Privateer Community Hero for his dedication to community service and involvement, and the Training Room “Helping Hand” Award for his assistance with the athletic training staff and overall interest in the profession.
Women’s tennis standout Anja Luethi won Miss Privateer and the basketball duo of senior forward Erik Thomas and junior guard Randi Brown were named Male and Female Player of the Year, respectively. A redshirt-junior from Bern, Switzerland, posted a 14-8 record in singles play and led the team with a 13-9 showing in doubles competition.
Thomas, who claimed honorable-mention All-America recognition from the Associated Press and was named Player of the Year by the Southland Conference, Louisiana Sports Writers Association and Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches, earned the honor after leading the team with 616 points and 250 rebounds and was a key member of the Privateers winning the SLC regular-season and tournament titles while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. Brown, meanwhile, claimed Miss Privateer honors after leading the team and conference with 22.7 points per game and set a school record with 45 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi en route to claiming first-team All-SLC and all-state distinction.
Male Newcomer of the Year went to junior forward Makur Puou of the men’s basketball team and freshman Claudette Gilhespie of the women’s tennis program claimed Female Newcomer of the Year. Gilhespie shared the team lead in singles wins with a 15-6 record and added a pair of doubles victories while Puou led UNO with 41 blocks and was second on the team with a 55.8 field goal percentage while averaging 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Each of the aforementioned awards were voted on by a panel of Privateer athletics administrators, head coaches and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, but SAAC selected some of the more light-hearted awards of the night. Freshmen Veronica and Victoria Corcoran of the beach volleyball team were co-winners of the Most Spirited Award, Best Dressed went to senior Markus Krieger of the men’s golf team and senior Brook Frank of the beach volleyball program, and senior guard Tevin Broyles of the men’s hoops squad was tabbed Best On Social Media. The indoor volleyball team claimed the 2016-17 Privateer Cup for the efforts in community service.
While the majority of the UNO teams have concluded its respective seasons, the baseball and track and field teams continue to do so. The Privateer nine returns to action on Tuesday, May 2, when they travel to Biloxi, Miss., for a 7 p.m. contest against Grambling State, while the track and field team play host to the 2017 Southland Conference Championship from May 12-14 in Tad Gormley Stadium.
2017 UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS ATHLETICS BLUE & SILVER GLOBE AWARD WINNERS
Male Newcomer of the Year: Makur Puou, Men’s Basketball
Female Newcomer of the Year: Claudette Gilhespie, Women’s Tennis
Mr. Privateer: Clayton O’Callaghan, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Miss Privateer: Anja Luethi, Women’s Tennis
Male Player of the Year: Erik Thomas, Men’s Basketball
Female Player of the Year: Randi Brown, Women’s Basketball
Most Spirited: Veronica Corcoran & Victoria Corcoran, Beach Volleyball
Best Dressed Male: Markus Krieger, Men’s Golf
Best Dressed Female: Brook Frank, Beach Volleyball
Best On Social Media: Tevin Broyles, Men’s Basketball
Most Likely To Remain At UNO Forever: Clayton O’Callaghan, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Privateer Community Hero: Clayton O’Callaghan, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field
Privateer Cup: Indoor Volleyball
Training Room “Helping Hand”Award: Clayton O’Callaghan, Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field