Wednesday, 7 March 2007

2006-07 AUS Major Award Winners Announced

2006-07 Men's Basketball Major Awards Announced

March 7, 2007 (HALIFAX, NS) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2006-07 men's basketball major award winners as selected by the Atlantic conference head coaches. Acadia Axemen guard Paulo Santana (Toronto, ON) is the 2006-07 Atlantic University Sport recipient of the Frank Baldwin Memorial trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player. Santana, a first team all-star this year and a second team selection in 2005-06, has led the Axemen in scoring in both of his seasons in the conference. This year, he tied for fourth in league scoring with a 17.2 points per game average, was third in rebounding (8.9 rebounds per game), fifth in assists (4.55 apg) and he also led the conference in steals for the second consecutive year with 2.90 steals per game. Paulo was the top scorer in 13 of the Axemen's 20 regular season games this year, including six double-doubles and eight games where he scored 20 or more points. The last Acadia player to be named league MVP was Jan Trojanowski, who took home the award in 1998-99 and 1997-98. Santana will be the conference representative for the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding player in CIS basketball. The last Atlantic conference player to win the CIS award was William Njoku of the Saint Mary's Huskies in 1992-93.

The 2006-07 Rookie of the Year is Christian Upshaw (Halifax, NS) of the #6-ranked StFX X-Men. Upshaw had an outstanding freshman season with the X-Men, appearing in 18 of 20 regular season games and contributing 11.8 points per game, the highest average of any first year player this season. He also led all freshmen in assists (4.72 apg - fourth in AUBC), steals (1.83 spg - fourth), free throw percentage (75.9 per cent) and field goal percentage (51.6 per cent). StFX's Garry Gallimore is the last X-Men player to be named Rookie of the Year (2003-04) and Dalhousie's Shawn Plancke is the only AUBC player to ever be named CIS Rookie of the Year.

Les Berry of the Acadia Axemen has been selected by his peers as the Atlantic conference Coach of the Year. Berry, in just his second year at the helm of the Axemen basketball program, has turned a fledgling program that missed last season's Final 6 tournament with a 2-17 record to a contending squad and a third place finish with a 14-6 record.

Reaching a season high #6 in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Top Ten ranking, Berry's Axemen picked up several key wins this season including a win over StFX (ranked #4 at the time). A week later, the Axemen added a two-game home sweep of the (then #6-ranked) Cape Breton CAPERS to grab first place in conference standings.

Prior to his arrival to Acadia, Les' first head coach position was with the Brandon Bobcat's varsity women in 2003-04, which was highlighted by a victory over the Canadian Interuniversity Sport #1 ranked University of Victoria Vikes. In 2004, Berry was named head coach of the Bobcat men's team to fill the vacancy left by the departure of interim head coach Reggie Carrick. Under Berry's leadership, the Bobcats completed the regular season with a 15-5 record, grabbing first place overall in the Canada West conference and a trip to the CIS Final Ten weekend in Halifax. Dave Nutbrown is the last Axemen head coach to have won this award with StFX's Steve Konchalski as the last Atlantic conference coach to win the Stuart W. Aberdeen Trophy as the CIS Coach of the Year.

For the third consecutive season, the Atlantic University Sport Defensive Player of the Year is 6'3" guard Garry Gallimore (Ottawa, ON) of the StFX X-Men. Recognized as one of the most aggressive defenders in the country, Gallimore is regularly assigned to guard the opposing team's best perimeter players. Gallimore, the 2003-04 Atlantic conference Rookie of the Year and the two-time reigning CIS Defensive Player of the Year, also led the X-Men offensively this season, averaging a team-high 17.4 points per game and 47.5 per cent from 3-point range.

The 2006-07 Atlantic University Sport Ken Shields Award Nominee is Memorial's Justin Halleran of Trepassey, NL. Justin will graduate this spring with a degree in Business Administration and during his time at Memorial has been a recipient of the Sport Newfoundland and Labrador Athletic Award and the Premier's Award for athletics.

Halleran's performances on the court are very notable, as he has been Memorial's leading scorer in two of the past three year's and named the team MVP in each of the past three seasons with the Sea-Hawks. This year, he finished fourth in conference scoring with a 17.2 ppg average and in his five-years at Memorial, his 174 career 3-pointers made are second only to Jeff Saxby in school history.

In addition to being a model student-athlete at Memorial, Justin spends a large portion of his spare time volunteering in the community. He has given his time to the Boys and Girls Club of St. John's and has also been a mentor to a young man for the past two years with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. As a member of the MUN athlete council, Halleran participates regularly in outreach visits to local junior high schools to speak about the importance of academics and he also coordinates Memorial's annual initiative to conduct basketball clinics at school's in and around the St. John's area.

This year, over the holiday period, Justin also took it upon himself to visit with a number of senior citizens around his hometown to drop off season’s greetings and boost spirits, simply because these people take an interest in what he’s doing at Memorial. Additionally, Halleran, along with his teammates, participate in Memorial's annual Janeway Children’s Hospital holiday visits, where the athlete's will visit individually with the long-term care children that may have to spend the holidays in hospital, often times leaving toys and gear behind.

"Justin is an exceptional young man with a big heart and outstanding leadership skills," comments Memorial head coach Todd Aughey. "He is truly a character kid and a terrific ambassador for both Memorial University and our conference, who exemplifies everything the Ken Shields Award embodies."

The 2007 Atlantic University Sport men's basketball championship is scheduled for this weekend at the Halifax Metro Centre. All tickets for the 2007 championship are available through the Ticket Atlantic box office at 902-451-1221 or online at The tournament schedule is as follows:

Thursday, March 8th
Quarterfinal #1: UPEI (4) vs. Saint Mary's (5), 6:00pm
Quarterfinal #2: Acadia (3) vs. Dalhousie (6), 8:00pm

Friday, March 9th
Semifinal #1: Cape Breton (1) vs. lowest remaining seed, 6:00pm
Semifinal #2: StFX (2) vs. highest remaining seed, 8:00pm

Saturday, March 10th
Championship Game: Semifinal Winners, 7:00pm

For further information, please visit, or contact:

John Keefe, Communications Manager, Atlantic University Sport

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