Women’s Basketball Wins Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award
SAN FRANCISCO – The Cal women's basketball team has been awarded the Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award as announced by the conference office on Tuesday morning. The Bears were nominated by the Oregon State athletics department for their willingness to allow senior Andrea Aquino to make a layup on Senior Day.
The Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award is annually selected by members of the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and is based on good sportsmanship and ethical behavior in participation in intercollegiate athletics, as well as a demonstration of good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
"When Scott approached me about changing the start of our game in order to honor Andrea Aquino, I knew right away that this was something we had to make work with our routine," said head coach Charmin Smith. "I constantly remind myself and our program that this opportunity to coach in the Pac-12, to play in the Pac-12 is about much more than the game of basketball and wins and losses. It's about people, and what better way to emphasize that than to celebrate the extraordinary person that Andrea has been for the Oregon State program and community. It was a very special day in Corvallis and I'm proud that the Bears could be a part of it."
Prior to her freshman year, Aquino was the No. 7-rated high school player in the nation when she signed with Oregon State. Before she could officially suit up for the Beavers, she was diagnosed with a medical condition and not cleared for competition. Despite never appearing for OSU, Aquino remained active with the program.
On February 20, the Bears worked with the Beavers and let the 6-foot-9 forward score an uncontested layup prior to the tip-off, her first collegiate points. Cal then scored a layup to tie the game up, Aquino was subbed off, and the game started anew with a fresh tip-off.
This is the second consecutive year that a Cal team has earned this honor. Last season, the Bears' field hockey team took home the award. Cal student-athletes Michael Capbarat (2008), Anna Key (2006), and Cara Chlebicki (2005) have also won the award.