May 2, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army women's basketball team held its annual end-of-season awards banquet on Wednesday, May 1, at Kimsey Athletic Center where Patriot League Coach of the Year Dave Magarity reflected on the Black Knights’ most successful season in over five years.
The reigning Patriot League regular-season champions, Army went 22-9, including 11-3 in conference play, en route to sweeping all of the league’s major awards. Team accolades, including five major awards, were handed out on Wednesday evening.
Presented annually to the team captain(s), the Col. Fredrick A. Mountford Memorial Award is named in honor of Col. Fredrick Mountford, a 1909 West Point graduate who captained the baseball team while also lettering in football. As a father of two daughters, he encouraged young women to participate in athletics, laying the groundwork for this award. In 1979, the Mountford family donated this leadership award to Army Women's Basketball in his memory. Presenting the 2013 edition of the award to Kimberlyn Martin and Liz Benedict was 2003 team captain Haley (Edwards) Uthlaut.
The recipient of the Maj. Gen. Philip H. Draper Award, which is presented to the team's Most Valuable Player, came as no surprise as she was also the first in Patriot League history to sweep both Player and Rookie of the Year plaudits: freshman point guard Kelsey Minato. Lt. Col. Kim Kawamoto presented the award.
Established in 1993, the Draper Award is officially presented during graduation week. Named in memory of Philip H. Draper, a 1929 West Point graduate, the award is funded by the Draper family and was presented for the first time at the graduation awards convocation in 1994. Draper's son, Stephen, was a member of West Point's Class of 1964. His wife, Lucy, was instrumental in the passage of the federal legislation to admit women into the gates at five national service academies. The family stayed at West Point until they had the opportunity to witness the first female cadets sworn in at Trophy Point in 1976.
In similar fashion, senior guard Anna Simmers was tabbed the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. Simmers became the second Black Knight in program history to earn Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year credits after Army held its Patriot League opponents to a program-best 47.9 points per game, while the Black Knights' defensive scoring average ranked seventh among all Division I programs at season’s end. Army support Harold Igoe presented the award.
Benedict took home the Maggie Dixon Award, named in memory of the 2005-06 Patriot League Coach of the Year, who passed away suddenly just one month after her first season at West Point was complete. The award is presented "in recognition of dedication and leadership to the Army Women's Basketball Program" and to an individual that embodies everything that Dixon stood for - passion, determination and a winning attitude. Dr. Trudy Yavoric presented the award.
Benedict originally arrived at West Point as a member of the Class of 2012, but injuries delayed her enrollment. After returning to the Academy in 2009-10, she worked her way into the starting rotation steadily during her junior season. Named a team captain prior to the 2012-13 campaign, Benedict’s senior campaign was cut short with a season-ending injury suffered in Army’s win at Air Force in November. She remained steadfast in her rehabilitation and dressed in uniform on Senior Day. Benedict and Martin will each serve as the team’s athletic interns next season.
The coaching staff selected senior Karleen Paulin to receive the Joy Swanson Award, which is in its seventh year of existence. Named in memory of former Army assistant basketball coach Joy Swanson, who passed away in 2006 after a courageous battle with cancer, the award is presented to a true team player who shows leadership through determination, motivation, patience and selfless service to others on and off the court. Current Army assistant coach Erin Mills, who played for Swanson during her time at Fairleigh Dickinson, presented Paulin with the award.
Paulin battled devastating injuries throughout her career and prior to the start of her final year at the Academy decided to serve the team as a student assistant coach. Paulin also aided in team operations after Army’s athletic intern Second Lieutenant Meagan Doucette left for flight school at Fort Rucker in early February.
Magarity also recognized long-time Head Officer Representative Col. Donna Brazil, former Army standout and current sport supervisor Lt. Col. Kim Kawamoto, and strength and conditioning coach Michelle Carrone.
2012-13 Army Women’s Basketball Team Awards
Mountford Award: Kimberlyn Martin, Liz Benedict
Draper Award: Kelsey Minato
Defensive Player of the Year: Anna Simmers
Joy Swanson Award: Karleen Paulin
Maggie Dixon Award: Liz Benedict