April 14, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women's basketball team celebrated the 2012-13 season and honored its seniors Sunday at the 27th Annual Purdue Basketball Banquet at the Four Points by Sheraton in West Lafayette, Ind.
Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp reviewed her seventh season at her alma mater, which resulted in a 25-9 mark that included an conference record ninth Big Ten Tournament championship (the fourth under Versyp), a tie for third in the Big Ten regular season and a third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Several awards were announced at the banquet after a surprise FaceTime video chat from Purdue supervisor of operations Terry Kix who is at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, recovering from Thursday's surgery for stomach cancer.
Junior Dee Dee Williams and freshman Taylor Manual shared the Coach's Award, given to the student-athlete that provides leadership, consistency, is coachable and a good teammate while serving as a role model in the community. The Most Improved Award was given to both senior Sam Ostarello and redshirt junior KK Houser. It is the second-consecutive year that Ostarello has earned a share of the honor. Sophomore Liza Clemons was recognized with the Perseverance Award for battling back from offseason shoulder surgery and a midseason stomach ailment to have a productive postseason. Junior Courtney Moses was the recipient of the Dr. Ruth Jones Memorial Award, an honor that reflects the selfless dedication of the former Purdue head coach and sixth-year senior Drey Mingo was honored with the Roger Blalock Memorial Outreach Award for her community service that includes a not-for-profit organization, Sounds of Serenity that benefits deaf and hearing impaired children.
The Boilermakers will have three seniors move on and all three addressed the crowd to share stories, express gratitude and deliver words of inspiration. The 2012-13 senior class is comprised of Mingo, Ostarello and Chantel Poston. Also recognized was senior student athletic trainer, Jillian Laski.
The Purdue women's basketball postseason banquet has been sponsored by the Lafayette Lions Club since 1987, and once again was put on with help from Gold and Black Illustrated and Artistic Media.