June 10, 2013
NAPA, Calif. -- The 2013 West Coast Conference Mike Gilleran Scholar-Athletes of the Year were announced at the fourth annual WCC Honors Dinner, held last week in conjunction with the Executive Council and Presidents' Council meetings at the Napa Valley Marriott. Saint Mary's men's basketball standout Matthew Dellavedova was named the male Mike Gilleran Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and the female Mike Gilleran Scholar-Athlete of the Year award winner was Ana Pontes from Pepperdine University.
Both Dellavedova and Pontes were unable to attend due to on-going athletic obligations. Saint Mary's Athletic Director Mark Orr accepted on Dellavedova's behalf, and Pepperdine Athletic Director Steve Potts accepted for Pontes - who is the second straight Pepperdine female student-athlete to win the Gilleran award, and the third in the last five years.
The WCC Mike Gilleran Scholar-Athlete of the Year is selected by a vote of the WCC's Executive Council to recognize the finest accomplishments in athletics, academics and community service by individuals who have completed their WCC eligibility. The award is named in honor of the conference's first full-time commissioner, Mike Gilleran.
MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA, SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE, BASKETBALL
Matthew Dellavedova graduated from Saint Mary's College with a 3.42 grade point average as a psychology major. A three-time West Coast Conference All-Academic Team selection, Dellavedova was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America Second Team. He earned the Saint Mary's George R. McKeon Award, given to the student-athlete on campus who excels at both athletics and academics.
On the court, Dellavedova was a three-time All-WCC First Team selection. He led the WCC in assists twice, while establishing a new Saint Mary's scoring record with 1,933 career points. Dellavedova was a two-time Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, and was twice a top five finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's top point guard.
In the community, Dellavedova spent time as a volunteer with Special Olympics, donating time at the organization's basketball clinics. Dellavedova also took part in numerous visits to local elementary schools, volunteering to read to local youth. On campus, Dellavedova organized a pair of charity soccer games in conjunction with the women's basketball team to benefit local area non-profit organizations.
ANA PONTES, PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY, SOCCER
Ana Pontes graduated from Pepperdine University with a 3.71 grade point average as a sports medicine major. A three-time West Coast Conference Women's Soccer All-Academic honoree, Pontes also earned three placements on the WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll and was a three-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar recipient.
On the pitch, Pontes was a three year starter and four year letterwinner for a Pepperdine team that captured a West Coast Conference title and made a pair of NCAA appearances. Pontes scored a pair of goals as a defensive midfielder, but led the Waves' back line which established a new school record with a 0.55 goals against average in 2011.
In addition to her work in the classroom and on the field, Pontes served as a team captain and a liaison to the student-athlete advisory committee. She also volunteered her time working with youngsters as part of the Heart of L.A. inner-city clinic over a two-year span. Pontes also donated her time in a community garden as part of Pepperdine's Step Forward Day.