DESTIN, Fla. (5/22/03) North Texas senior volleyball standout Corina Marginas received the Sun Belt Conference's Sportsmanship Award Wednesday night as one of six student-athletes recognized at the annual honors banquet dinner at the league’s spring meetings.
Marginas has established herself as one of the best volleyball student-athletes in North Texas history. A business computer information systems major, Marginas has an astounding 3.92 GPA and has been heavily involved in campus leadership roles. On the court, meanwhile, Marginas was the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year in 2000 and is a three-time All-Sun Belt first-team member.
New Mexico State senior golfer Alena Sharp was honored as the Sun Belt Female Student-Athlete of the Year, while Denver basketball standout B.J. Pratt received Sun Belt Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors.
Other award winners included Denver’s Angie Portincaso and South Alabama’s Thomas Esslinger, who were presented postgraduate scholarships, along with Marginas and South Alabama’s Ben Nelson, who received the league’s sportsmanship awards.
Also at the banquet, Western Kentucky University was presented the Vic Bubas Cup, which annually honors the all-sports champion in the Sun Belt Conference. The award is named after Vic Bubas -- the first commissioner of the league. It is the second straight year WKU has taken the honor and the third time in the school’s history with the league.
The individual honors, meanwhile, should come as no surprise. NMSU’s Sharp is a three-time Honorable Mention All-American and was a Verizon Academic All-American last year. She led the Aggies to three straight Sun Belt championships and is currently ranked No. 7 in the country.
Pratt is another All-Sun Belt standout, who led the Pioneers to their first-ever semifinal appearance at the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Championships. He finished his stellar career with 1,682 points, which ranks third in school history. Off the court, Pratt will graduate in June with a degree in finance/marketing and served as the student liaison for Denver’s Title IX Gender Equity Committee.
Portincaso, a Verizon Academic All-American honoree this year, was an All-Sun Belt first-team soccer standout in 2001 and 2002. Portincaso, who plans to attend medical school, also carries a 3.93 GPA in biology with a minor in chemistry and medical physics.
Esslinger is another incredible student-athlete. The cross country runner has a 3.74 GPA while majoring in political science. Winner of the All-American Scholar Collegiate Award, he was an All-Sun Belt pick in 2001.
Nelson, a senior baseball standout, is one of only two three-year letterwinners at USA. He has been part of three straight Sun Belt regular season championship teams and is on pace to set a career high in batting average. A secondary social studies major, Nelson sports a superb 3.77 GPA. He is also involved with Campus Outreach and is the SAAC representative.