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March 9, 2010

Tim Abromaitis

Jim Boeheim

Wesley Johnson

John Marinatto

John McDonough

Lance Stephenson


COMMISSIONER JOHN MARINATTO: Let me get right to presenting the major awards and read the citations for those who have earned them. Beginning with the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Scholar of the Year Award. An academic All-American selection and one of the nation's most prolific three-point shooters. He enters the BIG EAST Conference Championship as the nation's fourth-leading three-point shooter. He has connected on 44.9% of his team's three-point attempts and is the second leading scorer on the team averaging 17.2 points per game. A finance major who holds a 3.72 grade point average, he is one of five players nationally who was named to the ESPN Magazine Academic All America First Team.
Tim will graduate in May after completing a rigorous four-year undergraduate business program in just three years. He has been accepted to Notre Dame's accelerated MBA program, which allows candidates with undergraduate business degrees the opportunity to complete an 11-month program that traditionally takes two years. He'll be one of the youngest students to ever enroll in that program, and is one of just a handful of students to join the program immediately after his undergraduate studies. A junior from Unionville, Connecticut, it's my distinct pleasure to present the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Men's Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year Award, which is accompanied by a $2,000 postgraduate scholarship to Tim Abromatis of Notre Dame.
TIM ABROMATIS: I would just like to thank the BIG EAST for awarding me this honor. You know, it's a really great honor for me. It's something I've worked hard for. And you know, I credit my parents with giving me the work ethic that I have today; my parents and my brother who were able to make it today. I also would like to thank Coach (Mike) Brey and the coaching staff and everyone who has helped me with the basketball side to get me in position to get this award, as well as the people on that academic side, Pat Holmes and everybody at Notre Dame and whoever has helped me to get here. This is a great honor for me. Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER JOHN MARINATTO: Congratulations, Tim. A credit to the Notre Dame basketball program and the university as well as the BIG EAST.
Our second award tonight is the BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Year Award. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he led all freshmen in the league with a 12.0 scoring average. He was very productive late in the regular season by averaging 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in his team's last four games. He scored a collegiate high 23 points in Cincinnati's regular-season finale at Georgetown, and is the first ever student-athlete at Cincinnati to win an individual award. It's my distinct pleasure to present the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Year Award to guard Lance Stephenson from the University of Cincinnati.
LANCE STEPHENSON: First off, I would like to thank the BIG EAST for giving me this award. I want to thank my family, my teammates, my coach. Without them I don't think I would be the player that I am now. I'm just happy I got this award. That's about it.
COMMISSIONER JOHN MARINATTO: Before I introduce or read the citation for the BIG EAST Conference 2010 Coach of the Year award, I would like to introduce John McDonough from Oppenheimer Funds. The president and director of retail sales of Oppenheimer Fund Distributors. John, a few words before I read the citation.
JOHN McDONOUGH: Thank you very much, John. Good evening, everyone. An honor to be here with Commissioner Marinatto this evening recognizing the 2010 recipient of the Oppenheimer Funds BIG EAST Coach of the Year Award. When they first partnered together in 2005 we became the conference's official mutual funds. Since then our relationship with the BIG EAST has evolved to include our title sponsorship of the Oppenheimer Funds BIG EAST Coach of the Year Award for men's basketball.
Oppenheimer Funds' collaboration with the BIG EAST is particularly meaningful to our company and to me, because it affords us the opportunity to partner with an organization that, like Oppenheimer Funds, is committed to achievement and fostering talent and excellence.
Also, similar to the BIG EAST, Oppenheimer Funds recognizes and applauds the critical role that great coaches play helping others achieve goals whether those goals are financial or athletic.
So in closing, I would like to thank the BIG EAST Conference and Commissioner Marianatto for inviting me to participate in tonight's events. I would like to congratulate all of tonight's reward recipients and finally I want to wish all the coaches and players the best of luck in the tournament.
COMMISSIONER JOHN MARINATTO: Now I would like to read the citation for the BIG EAST Conference Oppenheimer Funds Coach of the Year award.
He directed Syracuse to an outright BIG EAST Conference regular season crown after being selected sixth in the pre-season coaches' poll. He is a member of the Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame and in his 34th season as head coach of the Syracuse Orange. The dean of BIG EAST Conference Coaches, Jim owns a career record of 827-291. This is the third time that he has been chosen by his peers as the BIG EAST Conference Men's Basketball Coach of the Year. It's my distinct pleasure to present to you the 2010 Oppenheimer Funds BIG EAST Conference Men's Basketball Coach of the Year, Jim Boeheim from Syracuse University.
COACH JIM BOEHEIM: I would like to thank Oppenheimer. Thanks, John. This is the result of you know, we were picked sixth because nobody believed me when I told them Wesley Johnson was pretty good. If you had believed me, then I wouldn't be up here. Teach you a lesson.
Our players and staff have worked so hard this year. You know, what these kids have done this year has surprised me as much as anybody. They've just been tremendous the way they've played together and looked out for each other has been you know their best regular season we've ever had at Syracuse. And we've had a few pretty good ones. But this team has been spectacular. It's been fun coaching them. And I look forward to the tournament here and the rest of the year. Again, thank you. Appreciate it.
COMMISSIONER JOHN MARINATTO: Finally, the last award of the evening is the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year Award. A 6'7" junior who sat out last season after transferring to Syracuse. He averaged 15.7 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game this year. Both team highs. He is second on the club in blocks and steals and shot 48.7% from the floor, 38.1% from three-point range and 78.6% from the foul line. He is the first transfer from a four-year school to earn the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year Award and the first from Syracuse to win since Hakim Warrick. A native of Corsicana, Texas, it's my distinct pleasure to introduce to you Wes Johnson, the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year.
WESLEY JOHNSON: Excuse the way I'm dressed. We were kind of delayed. It's an honor to receive this award with all the great players in this conference. I want to thank Coach Boeheim for giving me the opportunity to play at Syracuse. I want to thank the coaching staff especially Coach (Rob) Murphy for working with me day in and day out to enhance my skill level.
It wouldn't be possible without my teammates. We have a team full of MVPs not just me. So a piece of this trophy goes out to all of them. I want to thank all of our coaching community for voting for me. Thank you. I appreciate it.
COMMISSIONER JOHN MARINATTO: Thanks, everyone. Our winners are going to be available over here for a few minutes if you want to try to grab a word with them. Thank you.

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