December 6, 2007

Santa Clara's Mitch Henke Named Official Candidate for the 2007-08 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Dec. 6, 2007

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University men's basketball player Mitch Henke has been named an official candidate for the 2007-08 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Henke, a senior forward for the Broncos, joins 29 other senior male basketball players as candidates for the award.

The award - presented annually to the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year in eight sports - focuses on the "Four C's" of classroom, character, community and competition. Lowe's, an official corporate partner of the NCAA will award the winner with a trophy during the men's NCAA Final Four weekend.

Henke is a three-year letter-winner for the Broncos and a two-year starter. Coming into his senior year, he had played in 86 games and averaged 6.2 points per game and 3.8 rebounds per game. His best season came in 2005-06 when he scored 9.4 points per game and grabbed 5.6 rebounds a game. He was slowed by an ankle injury last season, but still appeared in 30 games and started 13 to help SCU finish 21-10 and 10-4 in conference play. Henke is one of two team captains for the 2007-08 season and he has never received a technical foul in his career.

Off the court, Henke also excels, as he has earned a 3.76 cumulative grade point average as a finance major. The Minnetonka, Minn. native has also been a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and he currently serves as the president of the important student-athlete organization. As a part of SAAC, Henke has been an integral part of the group's canned food and winter clothing drives the past three years. His efforts helped Santa Clara student-athletes collect the most donations of any West Coast Conference school the past two years. Along with his work with SAAC, Henke and his men's basketball teammates also organized trips to the Stanford Children's Hospital during the 2006-07 season to visit with children at the hospital during the team's winter break.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season and complete college education brings.

The list of basketball candidates (complete roster attached) includes a broad spectrum of universities and conferences across the country. On the men's side, 29 different schools are represented with Georgetown University being the only team with two candidates. Players from 17 different conferences are among the male nominees. The Big East Conference leads the way with five candidates.

From the list of 30 nominees for each gender, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in January 2008. Those ten names will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote during the NCAA Tournament in March. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the male recipients.

The award was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman. It was inspired by the remarkable story of former Duke University basketball player Shane Battier, who could have been an NBA lottery pick but returned to college for his senior season and led the Blue Devils to the National Championship in 2001.

For more information, please visit www.seniorclassaward.com.