The members of the University of Bridgeport Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2010 are stellar student-athletes the late Manute Bol (Men's Basketball, 1984-85), Steen Christensen (Men's Soccer, UB Class of 1988) and Latasha Davis (Women's Basketball, UB Class of 1996), plus softball head coach Phil Leibrock, who led the Purple Knights' program for 10 years from 1984-1994. Along with Manute Bol's induction into the Bridgeport Athletic Hall of Fame, the 1984-85 team on which he played will be recognized during the event.
The 2010 University of Bridgeport Hall of Fame Class will be enshrined during an awards dinner that will begin with a 6:00 p.m. reception in the Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. duPont Tower Room of UB's Arnold Bernhard Arts and Humanities Center on the University of Bridgeport campus.
When Manute Bol tragically passed away in June of 2010, the University of Bridgeport lost, without question, the most recognizable athlete ever to wear its school colors. His impressive size (7'6") and coordination allowed Bol to be the nation's most dominant defensive player at any level of basketball at the time. Manute had the ability to change a game solely with his presence around the hoop, as he averaged an amazing 7.6 blocks per game, giving him a record 182 blocks during the 1984-85 season. In addition Bol pulled down 334 rebounds that same year. After just one season at UB, Manute moved on to a career in the professional ranks and was drafted by the Washington Bullets of the National Basketball Association. Bol spent 10 seasons in the NBA playing for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76'ers and the Miami Heat. Even more impressive than his athletic accomplishments were Manute's commitment to aiding the people of his native Sudan. His tireless work in reconciliation of the warring factions of the north and south in Sudan and his efforts to empower the Sudanese people to fight for their rights and freedoms made Bol a true ambassador of peace and great example for all to see. He was the gentle giant.
Steen Christensen anchored the dominating men's soccer defenses of the Purple Knights from 1984 to 1987. A four-year starter at center back, Christensen was a dominating presence in the back with vision, anticipation and technique. He also had the ability and knack for also finding the back of the net on set pieces and at the penalty spot to spark the UB offense. Christensen was a two-time All-American, earning those honors following his junior and senior season, and he also garnered First Team All-New England honors as well. In 1986, Steen led Bridgeport to a final national ranking of number three and a spot in that season's NCAA Men's Soccer Final Four.
Latasha Davis was without a doubt the most dominating women's basketball player to ever wear the purple and white. Davis still ranks as the Purple Knights' all-time leading scorer with 1804 career points, and she also tops the all-time UB rebounding list with 1138 boards. As a four-year starter from the 1992-93 season to the 1995-96 season, Davis was a dynamic force who had the ability to take over a game at both ends of the floor. Latasha led UB to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances (1994, 1995 and 1996) while earning First Team All-New England honors along with the prestigious New England Player of the Year award.
Coach Phil Leibrock led the Purple Knights softball program from 1984-1994. During his tenure in the dugout, Leibrock led UB to a 266-207-2 overall record, and those 266 victories rank number one in the program's history. Coach Phil led the 1988 and 1989 teams to consecutive NCAA playoff appearances. In addition, he directed the Purple Knights to two ECAC tournament championships in 1985 and 1992. Coach Leibrock led UB to nine seasons of 20-plus wins, and three seasons with over 30 victories. On a personal level, he earned three NECC Coach of the Year awards and was twice recognized as Northeast Region Coach of the Year by the National Softball Coaches Association. Along with his softball coaching duties, Leibrock also helped coach the Purple Knights baseball team and served as head men's and women's tennis coach at his alma mater. Along with his outstanding record and personal accomplishments, Coach Phil was known for being a true "player's coach" and is still in contact with many of his former players.
The UB Athletic Hall of Fame was formed in 1981, and this year marks the fifth year of a revitalization that began in 2006 after 15 years without a class being inducted. This year's four inductees bring the total number of members to 70.
For ticket information for the November 6 Hall of Fame awards dinner, contact the UB Athletic Department, (203) 576-4017.