Charleston’s T.L. Asbury, West Liberty’s Shane Maynard, and Glenville State’s Mallory Menendez are the 2008-09 winners of the Neal Baisi Awards presented by Beckley Newspapers. The eighth annual awards recognize the outstanding Mountain State natives on West Virginia Conference men’s and women’s basketball and football rosters.
The award is named for long-time West Virginia Tech athletic director and men’s basketball coach Neal Baisi. He recorded a 263-82 record in a dozen seasons as the head of the Golden Bear basketball program. Baisi’s team revolutionized college basketball with their high scoring ways. His 1954-55 Tech squad was the first collegiate team to average 100 points per game as the Golden Bears rang up 107.5 points per night. His teams won 20 or more games on ten occasions and never failed to win 18 or more contests during his final eleven seasons.
Baisi, who passed away in 2005, also was a part of WVIAC football championship squads at Potomac State and Tech. The Elkins native was a first team football all-conference pick at guard in 1949.
As a coach, his squads were comprised chiefly of Mountain State talent. All but six players during his tenure were natives of the Mountain State. 1968 Olympian and Richwood native Mike Barrett was among those in-state standouts.
Asbury, a native of Winfield, ended his career as the all-time sack leader at Charleston. The defensive end was a first-team All-WVIAC pick as a senior after finishing second in the WVIAC with ten sacks. He also contributed 16 tackles for loss and garnered second team All-Northeast Region accolades for the 7-4 Golden Eagles.
Maynard is the first two-time men’s basketball winner of the Baisi Award. The Beckley senior bounced back from a series of knee injuries to lead West Liberty to the program’s fifth consecutive 20-win season. Maynard, who earned first-team all-conference honors twice during his career, was selected to the honorable mention All-WVIAC squad during his final season after averaging 13.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. He ended his career as West Liberty’s all-time leading scorer with 2,221 points and also established school records for games played (120), games started (120), and field goal attempts (1,706).
Menendez, a high school standout at Clarksburg Notre Dame, was one of the WVIAC’s top long-range shooters during her Glenville State career. The senior ranked third nationally with 3.7 three-pointers per game in 2008-09. The second team All-WVIAC selection paced GSC in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Her 43.0% shooting from three-point distance also ranked third in the conference.
The winners will be recognized at the West Virginia Sportswriters Association’s Victory Awards Dinner. This year’s event takes place in Charleston at the Embassy Suites on May 3. The 63rd annual event serves as a showcase for West Virginia’s top athletic achievers and personalities. It is the oldest statewide sports awards dinner in the United States.
Tickets for the 4:00 p.m. event are $18 and are available from most WVSWA member sports departments. Checks can be made payable to the WVSWA. The deadline to purchase tickets is April 28.
Neal Baisi Award Recipients
2001: Bryan Harman (Fairmont State)
2002: Eric Smith (WVU Tech)
2003: Luke Struble (West Virginia Wesleyan)
2004: Jared Surbaugh (West Virginia Wesleyan)
2005: Derrick Stickles (West Liberty)
2006: Kashif Ealey (Glenville State)
2007: Zach Amedro (West Liberty)
2008: T.L. Asbury (Charleston)
2001-02: Kevyn McBride (Alderson-Broaddus)
2002-03: Derek Jones (Charleston)
2003-04: Josh Allen (Alderson-Broaddus)
2004-05: Stephen Dye (Alderson-Broaddus)
2005-06: Shane Maynard (West Liberty)
2006-07: Ricky Yahn (Wheeling Jesuit)
2007-08: Chris Banal (West Liberty)
2008-09: Shane Maynard (West Liberty)
2001-02: Tracy Wyatt (Glenville State)
2002-03: Tracy Wyatt (Glenville State)
2003-04: Ashlea Bland (West Liberty)
2004-05: Lisa Lee (Charleston)
2005-06: Lisa Lee (Charleston)
2006-07: Casey Taylor (Glenville State)
2007-08: Samm Nester (Concord)
2008-09: Mallory Menendez (Glenville State)