April 14, 2012
Senior Taylor Stewart was awarded the team's top honor Saturday night at the Air Force men's basketball awards banquet, held at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel. Stewart won the Bob Spear Award, given to the student-athlete that is outstanding in all areas of the Academy - academics, athletics and military performance. There is no higher honor for a men's basketball player.
Stewart, from Lexington, Ky., played in 90 career games and started 34. He started the first 15 games this season before suffering a season-ending leg injury. He was averaging 8.1 points and 2.9 rebounds this season and finished his career with 352 points and 165 rebounds. Stewart scored a career-high 16 points against Army and Chicago State this year and pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds in the second game of his career against Cal State Bakersfield. He also dished out a career-high seven assists in the season-opener against Army. In what was his final game as a Falcon, he had possibly the best game of his career with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists in a 74-59 victory at Boise State on Jan. 14.
Junior Michael Lyons earned the Bob Beckel Most Valuable Player award for the 2012-12 campaign. Lyons, who missed six games during the middle of the season with a high ankle sprain, led the team and finished third in the Mountain West in scoring, averaging 15.5 points per game. He was named the most valuable player of the season-opening All-Military Classic and became the first Falcon since 1998 to score at least 20 points in three consecutive games. Lyons finished the season with 997 career points, placing him 23rd on the school's all-time scoring list.
Senior Shawn Hempsey earned the Cliff Parsons Falcon Award, given to the player that gives 100 percent regardless of their situation and place on the team. Hempsey, a 6-2 guard from Encinitas, Calif., played in 88 career games, starting eight. He had 85 points and 65 assists in his career, including a career-high five assists this season against Johnson & Wales.
Other individual award winners included senior Scott Stucky, who won the Rob Marr Sportsmanship Award, and junior Mike Fitzgerald, who won the Tim Harris Most Improved Award.