By Maxx Wolfson
KEVIN KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Luke Walton presents a gift to manager Jack Murphy at last night's awards banquet. The two were roommates during the team's road trips.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday March 10, 2003
After stealing the show last year with his guitar, Rick Anderson was at a loss for words at last night's awards banquet in the Westin La Paloma's banquet room.
First off, he lost his voice and could barely speak, struggling with a short song he wrote.
Second, his road roommate John Castles, the team's video manager, made a video montage of Anderson's Top 10 UA moments. The video was highlighted by Anderson's air-balled free throw at Stanford and an "Eiffel Tower" victory dance celebration in the locker room.
Castles' gift was just one of the many exchanged at the annual banquet last night, where each player and their road roommates exchanged gag presents with each other.
Some of the other gag gifts that were exchanged were a mirror for Channing Frye, since Jason Gardner said his roommate is always looking at himself in the mirror. Andre Iguodala gave a diet cookbook to Isaiah Fox since he said all Fox does is eat. Senior manager Jack Murphy gave a baby monitor to Luke Walton so he can hear what Gardner is talking about at all times on the road since he spends all of his time in Gardner's room. Fil Torres gave an eight-foot leash to Jason Ranne so he can extend away from his girlfriend of one year.
But one gift, from Walton to his head coach Lute Olson, has to wait until after the season because Walton said there are still nine games left and doesn't want to get in trouble.
The night opened with a video highlighting the 2002-2003 season with a special dedication to the team's three seniors. Songs played for each of the seniors was the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA" for Anderson, the Grateful Dead's "Still Truckin'" for Walton, and Lenny Kravitz's "Always on the Run" for Gardner, which is a song in honor of his mom Stephanie.
After the video, team awards were given out to the players in order of their time spent on the team.
Iguodala and Hassan Adams won co-freshmen players of the year and fellow freshman Chris Rodgers won the Mr. Hustle award.
In the sophomore class, Isaiah Fox won Most Inspirational, Frye won Most Rebounds and Most Improved and Salim Stoudamire won Best Defensive Player and Best Free-Throw Shooter.
Ranne won two awards for the juniors, one for academics and the Golden "A" award for all-around scholastic performance.
The three seniors shared the Co-Most Valuable Player Award and the Captains Award. Gardner also got the award for Most Assists and Most Steals, with Anderson winning the Coaches Award for "being the player who has been yelled at the most over the last five years," according to Olson.
The night ended with host Brian Jeffries from the Wildcat Radio Network letting the audience know that there is still plenty of basketball to be played this season.