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Incoming Freshman Vanda Baksa Receives Meaningful UVSE Prize

Jun 21, 2021

On Friday morning, incoming freshman Vanda Baksa was named the recipient of the Tibor Benedek Prize by her club team, UVSE, after scoring 27 goals and notching 20 steals in 20 games. 

The Tibor Prize is given to two outstanding water polo players of the year who have shown hard work and development in the sport of water polo, and the 2020 winners were chosen by Tibor Benedek himself. 

Benedek's main goal was to reward hard work and talent of the players under him, and after his recent passing, the community decided to name this award after Benedek to honor his career and legacy. His illustrious career was highlighted by three straight Gold Medals in Sydney, Athens, and Beijing as a member of the Hungarian National Team. He is solidified in Olympic history as the second highest scorer with 65 goals throughout his five Olympic Games.

The award was initially slated for 2020, and the recipients were to receive the award from Benedek himself, but he tragically passed before he had the chance to honor the athletes. Along with Baksa, Benedek named Erik Molnár the other recipient.

Baksa recalled her time with Benedek and being named a recipient of this prize, "I am very proud of this achievement, but at the same time I'm sad that Tibor Benedek was not able to give us this prize. He always said he was not the most talented player, but he always wanted to be better than anyone else in the pool. I wanted to follow his philosophy every day to be better."

Baksa is going to be an incoming freshman out of Budapest and has most recently played for UVSE, and placed first in the Hungarian National Championship in both 2019 and 2018.  

She will join the team this Fall and is excited to be a Sun Devil, "This award is giving me more motivation for the future, and I look forward to playing and studying at ASU next year."