Emory Athletics Announces 2012-13 Award Winners

Emory Athletics Announces 2012-13 Award Winners

The Emory University Athletics Department held its annual awards banquet on Tuesday, April 30, where it announced the recipients of its major awards for the 2012-13 school year.  The following is a list of the winners with a brief description of the award.

ALIBERTI AWARD – Presented to a male and female varsity athlete who demonstrates continued athletic improvement, persevere in their academic studies and show profound loyalty to Emory athletics.

Male – Michael Friedberg (Basketball)
Female – Mia Michalak (Swimming and Diving)

McDONOUGH AWARD – Presented to the male and female varsity athlete who have made positive contributions to the Emory community as a student, athlete and citizen.

Male – Richard Upton (Swimming and Diving)
Female – Katie Dickerson (Basketball)

BRIDGES AWARD – Presented to the outstanding all-around male and female varsity athlete.

Male – Jake Davis (Basketball)
Female – Kaele Leonard (Soccer/Track and Field)

PARTIN AWARD – Presented for outstanding career or season performance in a team-based sport by a male and female varsity athlete.

Male – Alex Greven (Basketball)
Female – Lauren Gorodetsky (Soccer/Softball)

McCORD AWARD – Presented for outstanding career or season performance in an individual-based sport by a male and female varsity athlete.

Male – Miller Douglas (Swimming and Diving)
Female – Gabrielle Clark (Tennis)

EMORY SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD -- Presented to the varsity athlete who best exemplifies the ideals of a student-athlete through their academic and athletic success.

Recipient – Isaac Chambers (Track and Field)

FRESHMAN IMPACT AWARD – Presented to a first-year student who demonstrates the exceptional dedication and spirit that defines Emory athletics.  The recipient will have made a positive impact on his or her team through competition and sportsmanship.

Male – Andrew Wilson (Swimming and Diving)
Female – Taylor Erwin (Volleyball )

Katie Dickerson of the women's basketball team presented the Senior Reflection.  The text of her speech follows.


You’re all insane.  Every single one of you is certifiably crazy. 

You wake up, often much too early in the morning, and work through grueling practices for hours on end.  Do you know how many things you could be doing that don’t involve blood, sweat or tears?  And don’t even try to tell me that it’s good for your health.  I was sprightly as a freshman.  Now I require at least thirty minutes to warm up and have the joints of an 80-year-old woman.

Well, chances are you know that you miss out on a lot to play NCAA athletics.  There were inevitably times when you really could have used an extra few hours to study for a test, sleep or just really wanted to party with “Narps” instead of resting up for a competition.

Sometimes it seems like the sport consumes your entire life.  At least for me, it dictated my highs and caused my lows.  So are you ready for a huge secret? …It all ends.  At some point the wins and losses don’t matter and all you take with you are the life experiences you gained by being a student athlete.  The bus rides, the plane rides, the team dinners, the competitions… those times when your teammates became your therapists, your teachers, your singing partners, backup dancers and most importantly- your lifelong friends.  

Points and wins and losses are cheap, but the effort that goes into them is not. Nobody can judge effort or assign points to it, because ultimately it’s between you and yourself.  We get one chance to lay a foundation and make a mark on life, one chance to seize every opportunity made available to us.  And opportunity is not something that comes around very often in life.  Even the swim team, god bless their winning selves, will still be able to count their NCAA championships on one hand when they leave this place.


So really it’s actually pretty humorous that I was even asked to talk to you this morning.  If any of you ever venture to peruse the athletics website I’m pretty sure that one of the highlighted statistics in my bio is averaging something like one minute per contest.  So as unabashedly as I deemed you all to be crazy, I certainly am no exception.  Not only did I endure the aforementioned suffering but I kept doing so from the highly sought after position of left bench. 


I stayed in part because I couldn’t imagine not playing the game I love, but honestly that alone wouldn’t have kept me.  After suffering a season ending injury last year that put me through two surgeries and made every single step I took painful, I wasn’t staying for the game.  I was staying for those people at that table right there and I would do anything for any one of them.  I would limp through suicides, oh coach I’m sorry I mean “champions”.  And I would take a bullet for them because I know at the end of the day it’s not about me.  It’s not about my personal glory because it’s about the team.


Ten years from now, nobody will remember the stats, the scores, that pass you threw away or that race you lost.  They will remember the impressions you made, the relationships you built and the great moments that came when you were doing the sport you love with the people you love more.


And if you had told me a few years ago that my team, the Emory Women’s Basketball team would win a UAA championship and make it to the NCAA tournament I probably would have laughed.  Maybe it wasn’t my shot that won the crucial game, but it was my blood, sweat and tears that went into what this program has become. 


To all of you who have ever doubted yourself, or thought you didn’t measure up, or wanted to quit- don’t you ever give up.  Don’t you ever let anyone play harder, or give more of themselves to their team.  Success is not about records.  It’s about knowing you did the best of which you are capable.  These four years are too short to hold yourself back.  And being an Emory Athlete is too precious of a gift to throw away.


There are so many people in this room who deserve my thanks, however after seeing most of you studying late last night in the library I’m sure you’d really like me to just be quiet.  So I’ll leave you with this…


Whatever legacy you’re going to leave at this place, choose it well.