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BMCC Athletic Program Named Best Among CUNY Community Colleges

(L-R): BMCC volleyball coach Odaly Aponte and Scholar-Athlete of the Year Stela Vaso
(L-R): BMCC volleyball coach Odaly Aponte and Scholar-Athlete of the Year Stela Vaso
May 21, 2018

The athletic program at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) received the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup at the CUNY Athletic Conference’s Michael Steurman Awards on May 17, making it the top ranked athletic program of the year among all community colleges within the CUNY system. A BMCC student, Liberal Arts major Stela Vaso from the women’s volleyball team, was also named as Scholar-Athlete of the Year, one of just four from throughout the entire CUNY system to receive the award.

The Panthers, who finished with 91 points in the standings, won their second Commissioner’s Cup in four years. It was also the 11th time in BMCC's history they claimed the trophy, the most of any community college in the conference.

Both awards are presented at the annual awards ceremony and dinner, held this year at the John Jay College in a room festooned with blue balloons, live music and a four course buffet for student athletes and their families, coaches and staff. 

CUNY Chancellor James Milliken attended the event and CUNY Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Christopher Rosa made welcoming remarks.

"This is a culmination of such a remarkable year," said Rosa. "The opportunity to celebrate the achievements for our incredible scholar-athletes, who have done historically well. It is unprecedented in CUNYAC history. We are so proud of them." 

BMCC’s Stela Vosa was born in Mondovi, Italy, and first picked up a volleyball at age five. While at BMCC, she has maintained at 3.9 grade-point-average during. She plans to eventually pursue a career in politics and social justice. 

“I feel very honored to receive this award. There are a lot of athletes who deserve to receive this award, so I feel lucky. I’m very happy to represent BMCC,” said Vasso.

Three other BMCC student athletes were recognized as 2017-18 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Honorable Mentions. They include: Psychology major Yosselin Alvarez (Women’s Soccer); English Major Makeda Pyles (Women’s Soccer) and Nikola Zilakova (Women’s Basketball).

BMCC students Criminal Justice major Aliyah Ali (Women’s Soccer), Theatre major Stephanie Chacon (Women’s Volleyball), Forensic Science major Michelle Isakova (Women’s Volleyball), Accounting major Derrieka Johnson (Women’s Soccer) Video Arts and Technology major Yulia Kuzmina (Women’s Volleyball), Psychology major Damali Prince (Women’s Volleyball) and English major Makeda Pyles (Women’s Soccer) were named to the 2017-2018 Vice Chancellor’s Honor Roll.

All BMCC team members along with BMCC Athletic Department Director Steve Kelly, BMCC coaches and Athletics staff accepted the Commissioner’s Cup award that evening.

“It’s a thrill to win. It’s a tribute to the athletes. We are now declared the best athletic program in the CUNY conference. We won men’s basketball, men’s soccer and came in second in women’s basketball and soccer,” said Kelly.

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • BMCC wins the 2017-18 Commissioner's Cup
  • BMCC student named Scholar Athlete of the Year at CUNY ceremony
  • BMCC students receive scholar athlete honorable mentions

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