NORMAN – Oklahoma senior Alex Ghilea has earned yet another accolade, receiving the 2017 Big 12 Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year award Thursday. The conference recognizes one student-athlete in each of its sports with the award following a vote from head coaches.
Just weeks ago Ghilea, who boasts a 3.58 GPA in OU's Price College of Business, was also the recipient of the 2017 Central Region ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award. The honor is given annually to the player who best exhibits outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
Ghilea, the team's captain, led the Sooners in singles wins this season with 21 while playing primarily at the No. 2 and 3 positions. He finished his career with an elite-eight run in the NCAA Singles Championship that earned him All-America status. He became just the seventh Sooner in program history to do so in singles.
The Neamt, Romania, native finishes his career with 100 career singles victories, making him just the fifth Sooner in program history to reach the 100-win mark and tying him for fourth in career singles wins with Joe Braver (1981-1984).
A fiery competitor on the court, Ghilea was part of back-to-back-to-back NCAA runner-up finishes from 2014 to 2016, has seen two Big 12 championships and was named the most outstanding player at the 2015 ITA National Indoor Championship where the Sooners claimed their first ever national title.
Ghilea has earned academic All-Big 12 honors all three years he has been eligible for the honor. In 2016 he was awarded the Athletics Director's Leadership Award, given to student-athletes who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in representing the University of Oklahoma and its teams. The award also recognizes respect to others, accountability, integrity and ability to work with others.
The Big 12 Conference established its Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2012-13. A recipient is named in each conference-sponsored sport. Every Big 12 institution nominates one individual per sport with the winners selected by a vote of the league head coaches for that sport, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes. Scholar-Athlete of the Year nominees must be a junior or senior (athletic and academic standing), have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher, participate in at least 60 percent of the team's scheduled contests and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution.