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Sears Named Mallory Award Winner

Justin Sears (Dave Silverman photo)
Justin Sears (Dave Silverman photo)

Two-Time Ivy League Player Of Year; Helped Bulldogs To First NCAA Tournament Win

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Justin Sears, Yale's first two-time men's basketball All-American in more than 30 years, is the recipient of the 2016 William Neely Mallory Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior male at Yale. The award was presented at today's Class Day ceremonies.

The award citation reads, "William Neely Mallory Award, given to the senior man who on the field of play and in life at Yale best represents the highest ideals of American sportsmanship and Yale tradition."

William Neely Mallory '24, a three-time letterman on the Yale football team, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the 12th Air Force during World War II. He was leaving Italy headed for home but his plane crashed into a mountain in 1945.

Sears will graduate as one of Yale's all-time greatest men's basketball players. He is Yale's only two-time Ivy League Player of the Year award winner and is among the school's career leaders in points (3rd, 1,700), rebounds (4th, 818), blocks (2nd, 200) and free throws made (2nd, 475). In addition, he earned first team All-Ivy recognition in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, becoming just the third three-time first team selection in school history and the first since Chris Dudley (1985-87).

As a senior, Sears helped guide the Bulldogs to one of the most memorable seasons in their long history. Yale won 23 games, the most since 1906-07, captured the Ivy League title for the second straight year and knocked off Baylor in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the first NCAA victory in school history.

Following the season, Sears was invited to play in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I College All-Star game at the Final Four in Houston. He also attended the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational.

During Sears' career, the Bulldogs won 78 games, the most in any four-year stretch since 1908, and posted a 41-15 Ivy mark, one win shy of the best four-year Ivy stretch in school history.

Sears, a political science major, also made his mark off the court. In February he was named a finalist for the 2015-16 Senior CLASS Award in men's basketball. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Sears has been a generous contributor to the New Haven community during his time at Yale. In his freshman and sophomore years, he read to students at a local elementary school. In addition, he volunteers at a nearby soup kitchen and has assisted at a number of Yale Youth Day events where New Haven youth fill the Yale fields to participate in a morning of sports and clinics.

Sears, a native of Plainfield, New Jersey, is a resident of Silliman College at Yale.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity