Hofstra’s Mejia and Albright Honored

Following in Nick’s Footprints, Hofstra’s Mejia and Albright Honored with Nicholas Colleluori Unsung Hero Award

Hempstead, NY – On Monday May 6, 2013, members of the Colleluori family were on hand to recognize the recipients of the 2013 Nicholas Colleluori Unsung Hero Award at the Annual Hofstra University Awards Banquet. This year, men’s basketball player Stevie Mejia and women’s lacrosse player Taylor Albright were named recipients of the prestigious award.

The Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award was established in 2007 to recognize the accomplishments of a male and female student-athlete who helped their respective teams achieve success in ways that may not always be measured by statistics. The award seeks to acknowledge those student-athlete’s who have not been adequately recognized during their careers, yet have always been exceptional representatives of the Hofstra Athletics Program. The award is named after the former Pride lacrosse player, who waged a courageous 14-month fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, before passing away in November 2006 at age 21.

“Nick will always be an inspiration to the Hofstra University community,” commented Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeffrey A. Hathaway. “While fighting this terrible disease, it’s amazing what Nick accomplished in developing the business plan for the HEADstrong Foundation and for having the foresight to know the future benefits that would be provided to the thousands afflicted with the same disease. Hofstra University thanks Cheryl and Pat Colleluori and their sons for carrying on Nick’s work with the HEADstrong Foundation. We will continue to assist the HEADstrong Foundation in the fight against blood cancer. We congratulate this year’s honorees for being the unsung stars of their teams.”

Stevie Mejia, Basketball

Senior guard Stevie Mejia of the men’s basketball team is a recipient of the 2013 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

A member of the Pride for three seasons after transferring from Rhode Island, Stevie really rose to the occasion as a player and team leader in 2012-13. During a turbulent season for the team, Stevie proved to be a model of consistency.

The Pride’s most dependable player all season, Stevie left his mark in every facet of the game. Defensively, he led Hofstra and the CAA with 63 steals, an average of 1.9 per contest. He had multiple steals 20 times this past season, including a season and career-high seven against Towson on February 16. That total is one off the school record set by Frank Walker (vs. Rider in 1985-96) and tied by Speedy Claxton (vs. New Hampshire in 1998-99). For his efforts, he was a CAA All-Defensive Team selection.

His game was very well-rounded this past season, as seen by his 11.9 points per game and his 4.1 assists per outing. He led Hofstra and ranked third in the CAA in assists and was second on the team in scoring in 2012-13.

Stevie had a stellar final month of the season as each of his major career-highs occurred during that time. He tied his career-high with 22 points at Towson on March 2 in the regular season finale and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds at Georgia State on February 13. Those two totals are in addition to his steals total versus Towson on February 16 and his career-best 10 assists against Old Dominion on February 24.

A Hyde Park, MA, native, Stevie’s value to the team was also evident by his team-best 34.3 minutes per game average, including three 40-minute showings late in the year. He played less than 34 minutes just five times over the final 25 games.

A May 2012 graduate with a degree in finance, Stevie was pursuing a graduate degree in higher education leadership this past academic year.

Taylor Albright, Lacrosse

Taylor Albright, a senior attack on the lacrosse team, is a recipient of the 2013 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

Taylor epitomizes the philanthropic spirit of Nick and was on the forefront of the many charitable endeavors undertaken by the Hofstra Department of Athletics in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy in October of last year. She spearheaded a highly successful clothing and supply drive that resulted in numerous donations to Long island families in need.

In addition, Taylor took part in other community service projects performed by Hofstra student-athletes including Holiday Magic of Long Island, Surfer’s Healing and the Nick Colleluori Women’s Lacrosse Classic.

On the field Taylor is a key player for Coach Shannon Smith’s squad. She has played in all 19 games this year with 12 starts and tallied 17 goals and three assists. She has three three-goal games this season and set a career-high with five points on three goals and two assists versus George Mason on April 14.

A native of Morristown, NJ, Taylor has been a three-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient.

The Nick Colleluori Female Unsung Hero Award

2012 – Brittany Butts, Soccer & Courtney Crews, Softball
2011 – Krista Thorn, Softball/Soccer & Rachel August, Volleyball
2010 – Sam Brigham, Basketball
2009 – Carolann Lubach, Softball & Lauren Whitcomb, Lacrosse
2008 – Joanna Kralowetz, Softball & Krystal Robens, Soccer
2007 – Lana Harshaw, Basketball

The Nick Colleluori Male Unsung Hero Award

2012 – Ben Clymer, Wrestling & Nathaniel Lester, Basketball
2011 – Steven DeNapoli, Lacrosse & Mike Skudin, Lacrosse
2010 – Ray McDonough, Football
2009 – Michael Colleluori, Lacrosse
2008 – Kareem Huggins, Football & Michael Unterstein, Lacrosse
2007 – Gary Flood, Soccer