Julie Smekodub's doubles victory at the ITA Indoor Championships helped her earn the prestigios Corbett Award.
May 15, 2003
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Tulane University will be well-represented at the 2003 Nokia Sugar Bowl Awards Dinner next Wednesday evening at the Superdome. The Green Wave swept the annual Corbett Awards, presented annually to the most outstanding male and female collegiate athletes in the state of Louisiana. Michael Aubrey from the Wave baseball team won the male honor, while Julie Smekodub from the Green Wave tennis team is the women's award winner.
All honors are based upon the 2002 calendar year.
In addition, former Tulane great John Arthurs will be inducted into the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, while Smekodub was also named the Outstanding Female Amateur Athlete in the Greater New Orleans area. A newcomer to the Green Wave, freshman baseball pitcher Ryan Martin will also be honored; he earns the Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete honor for Greater New Orleans based on his 2002 performance with Jesuit High School.
Finally, Green Wave freshman football standout Anthony Cannon will be recognized for winning the Sugar Bowl's November Athlete of the Month honor.
Corbett winner Aubrey, who is continuing his amazing career this year with the Tulane baseball team, batted .316 with seven home runs and 52 runs batted in last season. He also tallied an 8-1 record as a Green Wave pitcher while leading Tulane to the NCAA Regionals in 2002. Following his collegiate performances, Aubrey joined the USA National Team and helped them to a 23-7 record and the silver medal at the 2002 World University games. After becoming the first player in Team USA history to hit .400 with wooden bats, Aubrey was named USA Baseball's Athlete of the Year. He also led the team in home runs and runs batted in.
To capture the women's Corbett Award, Smekodub teamed with fellow freshman Jenny Kuhn to win the doubles title at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's National Indoor Championship, the first women's tennis national championship for the Green Wave. The freshman from Brooklyn, N.Y., also won the singles title at the ITA Southwest Regional and will represent Tulane at next week's NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in Gainesville, Fla.
The Corbett Award was created in 1967 and was named in honor of James J. Corbett to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and specifically the Sugar Bowl. The award recipients are selected each year by members of the New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Committee, based on nominations submitted by the state's sports writers, sportscasters and sports information directors.
Former Green Wave Basketball All-American Johnny Arthurs will also be honored next Wednesday as one of five 2002 inductees into the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame. Arthurs, who also starred locally at De La Salle High School, earned All-America honors in 1969 for the Wave after scoring a school record with 666 points and 25.6 points per game. He graduated as Tulane's all-time leading scorer with 1,501 points in three years and is also a member of the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the Tulane T-Club Hall of Fame.
Joining Arthurs as 2002 inductees are Olympic track medalist Pam Jiles, former NFL linebacker Sam Mills, former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Mora, and sports communications legend Ed Tunstall. Tunstall also has connections to Tulane as he served a stint as the Green Wave sports information director in addition to his many other achievements.
Smekodub will also be recognized as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Year for 2002, while the male winner of that award is Martin, a freshman pitcher with the Green Wave baseball team. Martin was an outstanding pitcher and infielder for Jesuit High School. Martin finished the prep season with a 10-3 record on the mound, leading the Blue Jays to the state championship. He also posted a 12-1 record for Retif Oil, the American Legion district champion and state runners-up.
The Sugar Bowl also honors an Athlete of the Month each month. Cannon, a linebacker on the Tulane football team, collected the honor for the month of November after tallying 37 tackles, including 21 solo stops. He also totaled two tackles for loss, two pass break-ups and one forced fumble to help a Green Wave defense that limited its opponents to an average of 13.7 points a game. Cannon ranked second in the nation among true freshmen in tackles with 110, including 65 solo stops. He was named to the Conference USA All-Freshmen Team and became the first true freshman to lead Tulane in tackles since 1977.
The 2003 Nokia Sugar Bowl Awards banquet and ceremony begins at 7 p.m. On Wednesday in the Louisiana Superdome.