Mekia Valentine Named Athlete of the Week

Jan. 4, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Junior center Mekia Valentine led the Gauchos to victory in their Big West Conference opener, almost single-handedly defeating UC Irvine in UCSB's 54-48 win.

Valentine, a 6-foot-4 junior from Greensboro, N.C., set a school record by blocking 11 shots while also leading the Gauchos with 16 points. She had eight rebounds, falling just shy of a triple-double.

The previous record for blocks in a game was eight, set by Kris Grazzini in 1995 vs. Nevada. Already this season Valentine had seven blocks in a game three separate times.

Valentine, who is averaging 12.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game this season, has swatted 55 shots this season, already placing her fifth on UCSB's single-season list.

Against UCI, Valentine blocked two shots in the final two minutes and sank a pair of free throws, helping turn an eight-point deficit in the second half into a victory.

The junior also pulled down 11 rebounds last week at Idaho while blocking four shots and then against Gonzaga, Valentine had six points and five boards in limited action.

All men's and women's basketball games will be broadcast live on AM 1490 and AM 990 again this year, and those games will also be available online, by clicking here.. And, UCSB Athletics is proud to announce that the baseball team will have over 20 games broadcast live on the air and through our website,

UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.