CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Eight Miami Hurricanes student-athletes will be honored prior to Saturday’s home baseball game against St. John’s. Awards include male and female scholar athlete, male and female community service awards, most outstanding athletes and underclassman scholar of the year.
The 2012-13 University of Miami Athletics Department student-athlete awardwinners are: baseball’s AJ Salcines (Male Scholar Athlete), volleyball’s Nrithya Sundararaman (Female Scholar Athlete), football’s Mike James (Male Community Service Award), women’s basketball’s Maria Brown (Female Community Service Award), men’s basketball’s Shane Larkin (Male Most Outstanding Athlete), women’s basketball’s Morgan Stroman (Female Most Outstanding Athlete), track’s Bassim El-Sabawi (Male Underclassman Scholar of the Year) and swimming’s Kara McCormick (Female Underclassman Scholar of the Year).
AJ Salcines was named Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, serving as a key reliever out of the Hurricanes’ bullpen and a key contributor in the classroom. The junior biology major with a double minor in chemistry and sports medicine, who earned All-ACC Academic recognition in 2012, leads the team in appearances (22), and ranks first among bullpen regulars in a number of categories, including innings (25.0) and strikeouts (25). Salcines was named Team MVP in 2012, and has provided the Hurricanes with consistency on the field and off in his third season for head coach Jim Morris and his staff.
Nrithya Sundararaman was named the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and headlined the 2012 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Volleyball team. A neurobiology major, Sundararaman is the seventh Miami student-athlete across all sports to earn ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors and is the second straight Hurricane in volleyball. The Naperville, Ill., native graduated a semester early with Magna Cum Laude honors and was named to the Capital One Academic All-American Second Team. On the court, Sundararaman led the ACC in assists with 10.72 per set and finished her career third in program history with 2,358. She earned honorable mention AVCA All-America, All-ACC, and AVCA All-Region honors.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS
Mike James, a sixth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in the 2013 NFL Draft, contributed countless hours to supporting community service organizations in the Miami community, including volunteering for Empowered Youth, an organization providing mentoring to at-risk youth, serving as a project manager for the 2012 University of Miami Bone Marrow Drive and serving meals to the homeless with the Miami Rescue Mission. James has also been involved with The Ronald McDonald House, Rushing the Community and Canes on Patrol. One of 11 FBS players named to the 2012 AFCA Allstate Good Works Team in September, he was the recipient of the Community Service Man of the Year, Captain’s Award, Melching Leadership Award and Jack Harding Team MVP at the team’s end-of-season banquet. The Haines City, Fla., product concluded his career with 1,386 rushing yards and 17 scores, while catching 67 passes for 585 yards and five TDs.
On the court, Maria Brown helped the Canes reach the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season. Off of it, she saw an opportunity to make a difference for all kids. She became part of the YES Institute Community Speaker's Bureau, a unique opportunity where she became trained to share her unique experiences of gender and orientation, opening the hearts and inspiring others to take action. Brown has shared about how bullying, gender and orientation have touched their lives in some way. The mission of YES Institute is to prevent suicide and ensure the healthy development of all youth through powerful communication and education on gender and orientation.
MOST OUTSTANDING ATHLETES
Shane Larkin played a key role in Miami’s historic season, helping the Canes win the ACC regular season title and ACC tournament, both firsts for the program. Miami earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and made a run to the Sweet 16. Larkin led the Canes in scoring (14.5 ppg), points (522), assists (164), steals (71) and 3-point percentage (40.6%). He was listed as a Second Team All-America (AP, NABC, ESPN), John Wooden All-America, Third Team All-America (Sporting News), Lute Olson All-America, Lefty Driesell Defensive All-American and named to the USBWA All-District IV Team. Larkin was ACC Player of the Year (Coaches, Sports Illustrated, ESPN), All-ACC First Team (ASCMA, Coaches, ESPN) and All-ACC Defensive Team (ASCMA, Coaches). He was named ACC Tournament MVP and ACC All-Tournament First Team after leading the Canes to the championship while averaging 23.7 ppg over the three-game stretch.
Morgan Stroman came to Miami as a McDonald’s All-American and has surpassed every expectation since her arrival. She earned Academic All-ACC honors as a freshman, was an All-ACC performer as a sophomore and was on her way to earning that distinction as a junior before an Achilles’ injury cut her season short. After intense rehab, she has come back her senior season as a captain and better than ever, even earning first team All-ACC honors. In her four years here, she has recorded 24 double-doubles and ranks among the program’s all-time best players in points, rebounds and blocks. Her 1,371 career points rank 12th all-time at Miami and her on the court energy has helped this year’s senior class to 97 career wins – the second best total in school history.
UNDERCLASSMAN SCHOLARS OF THE YEAR
Kara McCormack was selected Underclassman Scholar of the Year after another shining season off the diving board and in the classroom. The mathematics major, who was selected to her second straight All-ACC Academic Team this past spring, boasts a 3.98 GPA through her first four semesters as a student-athlete. McCormack, the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Diver of the Year, was named an All-American after a sixth-place finish in the platform finals at the 2013 NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis. She also won her first ACC Championship in 2013, capturing the gold medal in the platform finals while taking bronze in the 1-meter event.
Bassim El-Sabawi was named Academic All-ACC in indoor track for the second consecutive year. El-Sabawi ran his best 60m time of the indoor season, 6.99 seconds, at the ACC Indoor Championships. The San Diego, Calif., native also competed in the 200m for Miami, posting a season-best 22.29 at the New Mexico Classic. This outdoor season, El-Sabawi has competed in the 100m and 200m, as well as on Miami’s relay teams. A chemistry major, El-Sabawi has earned a 3.958 GPA while being a major contributor for the Hurricanes track and field program.