BRONX, N.Y. -- Ali Arat (Gr., Istanbul, Turkey/Sisli Terakki Secondary/Koc University) was awarded the Vincent T. Lombardi Award as Fordham University's top male student-athlete as the institution's Athletic Department held its 77th annual Block F Awards Dinner at the Villa Barone Manor on May 4th.
The Vincent T. Lombardi Award is presented to the Male Athlete of the Year for distinguished athletic achievements in the winning tradition of Vince Lombardi. The award honors the memory of one of Fordham's famed Seven Blocks of Granite, who is considered to be one of football's greatest coaches.
Arat, a two-year member of the water polo squad, was named Honorable Mention All-America by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) for the second straight season as well as a First Team All-North selection and a Second Team All-East pick. He was among not only the Rams' top scorers all season long, but challenged for the NCAA goal scoring title. In 32 games this season, he tallied a team-high 91 goals and 11 assists for a team-best 102 points, while adding 40 steals, good for second on the team, and 14 blocks. The 91 goals ranks as one of the top scoring seasons in Fordham school history, trailing only Ned Kelly's mark of 112 in 1971.
Nationally, Arat was second in the nation in goals and third in points. He also earned Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Northern Division Player of the Week once this season.
Academically, Arat earned All-Academic honors from the ACWPC and was named to the CWPA Scholar-Athlete Team.
Also at the dinner, senior Mark Connor (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) was named the water polo team MVP for 2010. Serving as team captain this past fall, Connor has been one of the guiding forces in the Rams becoming one of the top teams in the CWPA over the past three seasons. Though his contributions don't show up on the score sheet often, his consistent play, heart, character and leadership were just as valuable as any statistics he gathered in his career.
In addition to being named team MVP, Connor, along with senior Martin de Jong (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Polytechnic) were also presented Athlete Academic Achievement Awards, which are given to senior student-athletes who have been selected for outstanding athletic and academic achievement with a 3.5 GPA or better.
Release courtesy Fordham Athletic Communications