April 11, 2008
Sophomore Tyler Marsh receives the Sportsmanship Awart. He also was the recipient of the team's Academic Award.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Junior guard/forward Robert Vaden was named 2007-08 Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year as he and the UAB men's basketball team celebrated what was another successful season at the 2007-08 postseason banquet last Wednesday night. The Blazers finished the season 23-11 overall and 12-4 in Conference USA.
UAB made its 22nd postseason appearance with a berth in the 2008 National Invitation Tournament, which also marked the fifth postseason over the last six years for the men's basketball program. Furthermore, the 23 victories were the third-most wins in a season in UAB lore, while the 12 league victories tied for the most conference wins in school history.
Vaden headlined the awards for the evening, receiving team MVP, offensive MVP and the Carlos Williams Memorial Award, given to the player who exemplifies the best attitude and dedication to the Blazer program. Additionally, Vaden also was recognized for his Conference USA Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-Conference USA awards.
Frank Holmes, the team's only senior this season, was given the inaugural Gene Bartow Inspirational Award, which is an award that may or may not be given out every season. It is presented to the player who displays exemplary actions on and off the court, and only rewarded when a player displays commitment, loyalty, tremendous effort, respect and a love for UAB, throughout his career.
Other winners included Tyler Marsh, who earned the team's Academic Award and the Sportsmanship Award, Aaron Johnson (Most Improved Player) and Lawrence Kinnard (Third-Team All-Conference USA).
Blazer broadcaster David Crane served as emcee for the evening, while UAB President Dr. Carol Garrison and UAB Director of Athletics Brian Mackin both addressed the crowd. Crane also recognized several dignitaries, as well as the former players and coaches who attended the event. The list of former Blazers greats included UAB head coach Gene Bartow, who presented his inaugural award to Holmes, along with former players Steve Mitchell, Alan Ogg, Jeremy Bearden and Daryl Braden, among others.