Feb. 6, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch
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Missouri Athletic Club partners with association
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the Missouri Athletic Club have joined forces for a college basketball awards dinner on April 9 at the MAC's downtown location in St. Louis.

Missouri Athletic ClubThe USBWA and the MAC will partner on the dinner that will feature presentation of the Oscar Robertson Trophy to the national collegiate player of the year, the Wayman Tisdale Award to the freshman of the year and the Henry Iba Award to the coach of the year. In addition, former Missouri and Hall of Fame coach Norm Stewart and retired referee Ed Hightower each will receive lifetime achievement awards.

"The MAC was the first to host this event in 2005," said USBWA president Vahé Gregorian, sports columnist for The Kansas City Star. "We are delighted to renew a partnership with the MAC and look forward to sharing this occasion with them."

"Hosting the USBWA awards fits perfectly with our Club's long history of celebrating excellence in amateur athletics," said Missouri Athletic Club Basketball Chairman Kevin Cantwell. "It's a tradition that goes back to the inception of our Club when MAC athletes participated in the 1904 Olympics and it continues today with our annual presentation of college soccer's Hermann Trophy. It's an honor that the USBWA has chosen the MAC to host the top awards in college basketball."

Reservations to the banquet are now available to MAC members by calling 314-539-4470. Reservations will be open to the public through collegebasketballawards.eventbrite.com beginning Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m.

The player of the year award is named after one of the greatest players in college history, three-time All-American Oscar Robertson. The Robertson Trophy is the only player of the year award named for a player. The USBWA named the award after Robertson in 1998.

The Tisdale Award is named in honor of the late Oklahoma great, Wayman Tisdale. Tisdale was a three-time All American and in 1983, became the first freshman to be named an All- American by the USBWA. Tisdale passed away in 2009 following a courageous battle with cancer.

The legendary Henry Iba is recognized as one of the greatest coaches of all time. He won 655 games and coached the U.S. Olympic teams to gold medals in 1964 and 1968 and a silver medal in 1972.

Stewart, a cancer survivor, is credited with creating the "Coaches vs. Cancer" program. The concept evolved into a nationwide effort to fight cancer and promote cancer awareness and prevention. Since 1993, the charity has raised over $100 million for the American Cancer Society.

Stewart is a coaching icon. He coached 32 years at Missouri and posted a 634-333 career record. He led the Tigers to eight Big Eight Conference regular-season championships, six tournament titles and 16 NCAA Tournament appearances. He was elected to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. A bronze statue of Stewart was erected last year in front of the Mizzou Arena.

Hightower is regarded as one of the best referees ever to work college games. He was voted the Naismith Division 1 Men's College Basketball Official of the Year in 1992. He worked 12 NCAA Final Fours and was assigned to some of the biggest games in the country for nearly every major conference. He retired from officiating in 2013. A lifelong educator with 41 years of service in education, Hightower was superintendent of Edwardsville (Ill.) School District No. 7 before retiring in 2015.


Formed in 1956, the United States Basketball Writers Association celebrated its 62nd year this season. The organization is comprised of some 900 members who cover college basketball for newspapers, magazines and websites. The primary goal of the USBWA has remained the same since its inception to serve the interests of its members and to promote college basketball.

The USBWA annually selects a national player, coach and freshman of the year in college basketball and All-America teams for both men and women. The men's player of the year award is named in honor of former Cincinnati All-American and NBA legend Oscar Robertson, who was the first recipient of the USBWA's player of the year award in 1959. The women's award is named for former UCLA standout Ann Meyers Drysdale.

The USBWA men's coach of the year award is named for legendary Olympic and Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State, coaching great Henry Iba. The men's freshman of the year award honors the late Oklahoma All-American Wayman Tisdale.

The USBWA conducts a sports writing workshop annually at the NCAA Final Four for college and high school students. The USBWA also awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in sports journalism and to the sons and daughters of current members. Past and present members of the USBWA are also inducted each year into the USBWA Hall of Fame, honoring those who have made significant contributions to the USBWA and to the sports journalism profession.

In addition, the USBWA presents a Most Courageous Award for men and the Pat Summitt Courage Award for women to a player, coach, official or administrator in college basketball who demonstrates extraordinary courage in life. The USBWA also honors individuals in college basketball with the Katha Quinn Award for men and the Mary Jo Haverbeck Award for women for service to the media or for the inspiration they provide to those in the sports journalism profession.


The Missouri Athletic Club was established in 1903 with the mission to be the premier athletic, business, social and dining club in the St. Louis region for its members and their families. Today, the MAC is recognized as a "Platinum Club of America," an honor that places it in the top 5% of private clubs in the country. The MAC has two locations the historic Downtown Clubhouse and the West County Clubhouse located in Town & Country.

"Athletic" has been at the center of MAC life since inception more than a century ago, when Club officials and athletes participated in the 1904 Olympic Games. That tradition of promoting athletic excellence has continued throughout its history and remains strong today through a variety of events. The MAC sponsors the annual High School Soccer All-Star Games at the Soccer Park. Since 1970, the MAC has hosted the Jack Buck Awards to honor the top sports figures in St. Louis. Since 1986, the MAC has annually presented the Hermann Trophy to the top male and female collegiate soccer players in the country.