Brock Bradford graduated from Husson University last month, but he continues to be recognized for his achievements as a student-athlete at the Bangor school.
Bradford has been chosen by the NCAA to be the student-athlete role model for Division III basketball for the Sporting Geography educational program.
The Kenduskeag native is among only five students nationwide to be selected for the Sporting Geography honor. In that role, an interview with Bradford will be utilized by teachers in their classrooms across the United States.
“Brock Bradford stands alone as an accomplished student, student-athlete, leader, team captain and, most importantly, as a person of integrity,” Husson athletic director Cindy Connelly said in a press release.
Bradford, a key member of the Eagles’ basketball team, graduated in May with a B.S. in accounting and a master’s in business. He compiled a 3.97 grade point average.
The former Bangor Christian star was named an ESPN Academic All-American, one of five in the country. He was a three-time, All-North Atlantic Conference all-star and was named to the Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches and Writers Association all-state second team last winter.
UM product on U.S. rugby team
Tony Purpura, who was a key member of the University of Maine rugby club team during his years in Orono, is now a member of the U.S. national team, the Eagles.
Purpura, a former captain and president of the UMaine team, led it to a Division II Sweet 16 appearance in 2008.
This spring, after playing in New Zealand and then for the Boston Rugby Club’s Super-league squad, Purpura is playing for Team USA. Last week, he played in his first match with the Eagles, who earned a 40-22 victory over Russia.
Some of Purpura’s former teammates and friends will travel to New Jersey this weekend to watch him play for the Eagles in the Churchill Cup playoffs.
According to former UMaine coach Mark Grimes, Purpura will be in the player pool vying for a spot on Team USA when it plays in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Through Sunday, Team USA was in second place with a 1-1 record in Pool B. The Eagles take on France in an elimination game Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Bears’ Howard won’t return
Matt Howard, who emerged as a key starter last season for the UMaine baseball team, will not return to school for a fifth season of eligibility.
Howard, who graduated in May with a degree in kinesiology and physical education, instead will be attending graduate school.
“He’s just going to go to Northeastern and start grad school,” said UMaine head coach Steve Trimper. “It was more of a decision for academics and to start his life off.”
Howard shook off an injury-plagued career to become the Bears’ starting right fielder during 2010. He ranked third on the squad with a .358 batting average in 41 games, including 33 starts.
Howard hit five triples, four doubles and two home runs with 22 runs batted in. He also stole 14 bases in 17 attempts and was fourth on the team with a .425 on-base percentage.
“We certainly wanted to try to get him back, but I don’t blame him [for pursuing his graduate degree],” Trimper said.