Ryan Bright named as 2008 SLC Steve McCarty Citizenship Award winner

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HUNTSVILLE -- Sam Houston State's Ryan Bright and Northwestern State's Cary Bruno have been chosen as the Southland Conference's Steve McCarty Citizenship Award male and female recipients.

The pair will be recognized at the SLC Honors Dinner on May 29 at the San Luis Resort & Conference Center in Galveston, TX.

The Steve McCarty Citizenship Award recognizes a Southland Conference male and female student-athlete who exhibits outstanding qualities in citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership and community service. In addition to the overall conference recipients, others nominated will also be honored with campus awards.

“We are very proud of the athletic accomplishments of Ryan and Cary, but we’re even more pleased to recognize them for their efforts away from the competition,” Southland Conference commissioner Tom Burnett said. “Both Ryan and Cary have exemplified the ideals behind the McCarty Award, and their campus and community service efforts are models for all to follow.”

Bright, a native of Deer Park, Texas, has also been heavily involved in community service during his time as a Bearkat.

He has participated in numerous food drives and has helped collect supplies for the Huntsville women’s shelter. He has also spearheaded a campaign to collect pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House at M.D. Anderson.

Bright, a two-time Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year, has visited the Champs/Life Skills freshman class at SHSU every year talking about what it takes to have success in college.

Bright was named a Mid-Major All-American this season by collegeinsider.com and was also named All-Region after helping the Bearkats to three 20-plus win seasons and an 84-39 record in his four-year career. He earned first-team All-Southland Conference honors for the second-straight year and led the league in rebounds at 10.7 per game. He scored in double figures 20 times during the 2007-08 season and 74 times in his career.

A senior kinesiology major, Bright was named 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America and All-District after posting a 3.64 grade point average. He was a three-time All-Southland Conference Academic selection is a Dean’s List student. He is an officer on the Sam Houston State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has also been a Bearkat mentor, reading to Huntsville elementary school children. He is also a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Bright, a five-time SLC Player of the Week honoree in his career, completed his college career ranked as Sam Houston State’s No. 3 all-time leading rebounder with 930 and No. 7 all-time leading scorer with 1,393 points.

A softball student-athlete from Pearland, Texas, Bruno has spearheaded a number of community service activities with both the Student Athlete Advisory Council and on her own.

She has also volunteered over 75 hours to the battered women’s shelter (D.O.V.E.S.) and organized the Northwestern State Athletics Community Service Project with ‘Operation Shoebox’ where she coordinated the collection of items to go into shoeboxes to be shipped overseas to underprivileged children.

Bruno also assisted the Northwestern State Baptist Collegiate Ministries to help clean up Covington, La., after Hurricane Katrina, participated in the “Knock Out Hunger” food drive and has been a volunteer for the Dixie Youth Softball Camp, helping younger girls learn the game of softball.

A two-year starter on the Demon softball team, Bruno was a third-team All-SLC selection this season. She has also made the Northwestern State honor roll for the past five semesters and is active in the Blue Key National Honor Society. Bruno also represented Northwestern State at the NCAA Division I Leadership Conference last fall and is the Northwestern State representative at the SLC SAAC meetings.

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