June 17, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UAB senior baseball player James Oliver has been honored by Conference USA as a Spirit of Service Award winner for Spring 2009. C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced 12 winners of the award Wednesday.
The C-USA Spirit of Service Award is designed to recognize the community service efforts of the league's student-athletes, based upon significant community service, good academic standing and participation in their elected sport. The Spirit of Service Award is presented three times throughout the season, with Wednesday's honorees representing C-USA's spring sports: baseball, equestrian, men's and women's golf, outdoor track & field, women's rowing and men's and women's tennis.
Oliver becomes the third Blazer to earn the Spirit of Service honor this academic year. Dean Sorrell (men's soccer) earned the distinction in the fall, and Nora Mehl (indoor track and field) was recognized with the award in the winter.
A pitcher from Vestavia Hills, Ala., Oliver recently completed his final season as a member of the Blazer baseball team. He pitched in 58 career games, logging 142.2 innings on the mound and posting eight career wins.
Away from the field, Oliver has served as a mentor in the Big Brothers program and volunteered at UAB Hospital, serving as a communicator between health care workers and patients' families. He has also spent time at the hospital as a team leader in UAB's "Healing Words" program, reading to and speaking with patients.
Oliver recently graduated with a 3.85 overall GPA and will begin medical school at UAB in July. He is a two-time C-USA All-Academic Team selection and was recently named the 2009 C-USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year for baseball. Earlier this year, Oliver was chosen as one of 30 nationwide candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
2008-09 C-USA SPIRIT OF SERVICE SPRING HONOREES
Charina Sumner, East Carolina, Softball
David Murphy, Houston, Baseball
Melanie Stoehr, Marshall, Softball
Robyn Jones, Memphis, Women's Tennis
Jimmy Comerota, Rice, Baseball
Natalia Bubien, SMU, Women's Tennis
Paul Apyan, Southern Miss, Men's Golf
Nicolette Taku, Tulane, Women's Track & Field
Caitlin Duffy, Tulsa, Women's Rowing
James Oliver, UAB, Baseball
Breanne Javier, UCF, Softball
Stacie Townsend, UTEP, Softball