News release date:
Thursday, May 4, 2006

Men's Basketball Captain, Career Assists Leader Wins Borleske Trophy

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Greg Ricker, a senior captain and all-conference point guard on the men's basketball team, is the 2006 recipient of the R.V. Borleske Trophy, which is presented annually to the top male athlete at Whitman College.

The trophy, which is awarded by a vote of the Whitman coaching staff, recognizes athletic ability and accomplishments, leadership and sportsmanship qualities, and contributions to the campus as a whole.

Ricker, who ended his playing career as Whitman's all-time leader in assists, is the first member of the men's basketball team to win the Borleske Trophy in more than a decade. Jason McDonald, a forward on 1993 Missionary team, shared the Borleske Trophy that year with baseball player Joel Keller.

Ricker, who majored in both economics and rhetoric/film studies, has a cumulative grade point average of 3.51 on a 4.0 scale. He wrote his senior thesis (rhetoric/film studies) on the sports films (Bull Durham, Tin Cup, White Men Can't Jump) of director Ron Shelton. His thesis analyzes how females in Shelton's films assume heightened roles in the narrative in relation to lead male characters, replacing the role traditionally given to male coaches."

Ricker, a 6-foot-2 guard, led Whitman in assists in each of his four seasons, finishing with a school-record total of 442. He led the Northwest Conference in assists as a sophomore, and he finished second or third as a junior and senior. His career numbers also include 830 points, 304 rebounds and 98 steals.

As a senior, Ricker averaged 9.0 points, 5.25 assists and 3.4 rebounds, earning All-NWC Honorable Mention recognition. He and teammate Matt Kelly made the all-tournament team at the Wildhorse Resort Classic in late November. Ricker scored 35 points in his two tournament games, making 13 of 19 shots from the field, and he added 12 assists, nine rebounds and five steals.

Ricker, who missed part of his junior season while studying off campus, enjoyed his best year as a sophomore. He led Whitman in scoring that season, averaging 12.2 points while shooting 57.6 percent from the floor, the third-best mark in the conference. He also averaged a conference-leading 5.32 assists per game, in addition to 3.28 rebounds.

Ricker, a graduate of Seattle (Wash.) Prepatory School, is the son of Neil and Beverly Ricker of Seattle.

The Borleske Trophy honors Raymond V. Borleske, who achieved legendary status as an athlete and later as a coach at Whitman during the first half of the 20th century. He starred on Whitman's football and baseball teams, and he was the first football player from the Northwest to be recognized by Walter Camp's Spaulding Football Guide. After graduating from Whitman and earning a law degree, Borleske returned to campus in 1915 to begin a coaching career that continued until 1947.


CONTACT: Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu