Men’s Basketball Announces Team Awards, Reveals 2019-20 Captains at Annual Banquet

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Following a season that ended in Harvard's seventh Ivy League championship in nine seasons, and second consecutively, and a second round NIT appearance, Harvard men's basketball announced its team awards at its annual banquet.

The Raymond P. Lavietes '36 Most Valuable Player Award was presented to junior guard Bryce Aiken, who posted the third-highest scoring average in program history at 22.0 points per game. Aiken was a unanimous All-Ivy League first team selection, and a Lou Henson All-American. He put together some of the most memorable performances in program history, including a 44-point outburst against Columbia in February for the second-highest scoring game in Harvard history. He is the 16th player in program history to win the award multiple times.

Aiken was also presented the Henry Zimmerman Free Throw Accuracy Award after leading the team in the category (85.5%).

Junior Justin Bassey was named the Harvard Basketball Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season. Consistently tasked with guarding the opponent's top perimeter player, Bassey led the Crimson in rebounding for the second year-in-a-row with 6.6 boards per game. Additionally, Bassey averaged 9.0 points, 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocks per game, including a series of acrobatic chase-down rejections.

The Hamilton Fish '10 Most Improved Player Award was given to two players for the first time since 2013-14, with first-year forwards Kale Catchings and Mason Forbes collecting the honors. Catchings played a key role down the stretch for the Crimson, starting six games, while Forbes started two games and shot 68.8 percent from the field on the season. Both players played large roles in Harvard's victory at Yale, 88-86, on Feb. 23.

Sophomore forward Danilo Djuricic was presented the Floyd S. Wilson Sportsmanship Award. A versatile player on the floor, Djuricic averaged 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, including a career-high 20 points with five assists early in the season at Rhode Island. Djuricic tallied three dunks in overtime at Columbia in March to help Harvard seal its Ivy League title.

The John Harnice '84 Spirit Award, presented to the player who best exemplifies John's spirit, dedication and concern for his fellow man, was awarded to senior captain Weisner Perez. Perez appeared in six games with three starts, including both of Harvard's NIT games against Georgetown and North Carolina State.

Junior guard Christian Juzang took home the Thomas G. Stemberg '71 MBA '73 Iron Man Award, which is given to the player who plays the most minutes each season. Juzang was on the floor for 849 minutes this season, averaging 8.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

The Harvard basketball program also revealed the creation of two brand new awards: The Harvard Basketball Academic Excellence Award and the Senior Manager Award. Senior Robbie Feinberg was presented the Academic Excellence Award, which is given to the player who achieves the most in the classroom over the past two semesters, while Hamza Usman and Jason Lawes were co-recipients of the Senior Manager Award after four years of dedication to the program.

At the conclusion of the banquet, the program announced that juniors Seth Towns and Henry Welsh were named captains for the 2019-20 season.