June 12, 2008

Harris Edges Sinclair to Earn Second Straight UCSBGauchos.com Male Athlete of the Year Award

June 12, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Senior guard Alex Harris of the UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team earned UCSBGauchos.com Male Athlete of the Year honors for the second consecutive year, it was announced Thursday. Harris edged men's water polo star Ross Sinclair by three votes to become the first two-time winner in school history.

In the closest balloting ever, Harris finished with 115 votes to Sinclair's 112, a margin of 27.4% to 26.7%. Men's soccer player Chris Pontius finished with third with 34 votes, and baseball pitcher Mike Ford was fourth with 33 votes.

Harris led the Gauchos to a school record 23 wins in 2007-08, setting a school record for scoring in a career with 1,696 points. He was named Big West Player of the Year after averaging 20.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. He also made 74 three-point baskets as UCSB tied for the Big West's regular season title and advanced to its first postseason appearance since 2003. In addition to Big West Player of the Year honors, Harris was named First Team All-Big West for the second straight year, and Second Team All-District 15.

Sinclair was an Honorable Mention All-American after leading UCSB to a 19-14 overall record and a national ranking of sixth. He finished as the Gauchos' leading scorer, notching 55 goals and 36 assists for 91 points. Sinclair was also accorded Second Team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors.

Pontius was the Big West Offensive Player of the Year after leading the Gauchos to another league soccer title and NCAA Tournament bid. Ford was the baseball team's number one starter, earned Second Team All-Big West recognition, and guiding the UCSB baseball team to its best record in seven seasons.