March 26, 2009
Los Angeles, CA -- The success for the LMU men's water polo team this past season was not limited to the pool. Five Lions - Tim Heafner, Tibor Forai, Edgaras Asajavicius, Derek Milligan and Albert Samuels - have been named American Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Academic All-American for the 2008 season, putting more awards on top of one of the most successful seasons in program history.
Each year the ACWPC selects student-athletes who contribute to their men's water polo program not only in the water but in the classroom as well. Three teams or levels are selected by the ACWPC. First-team academic All-American earns a GPA between 3.71 and 4.0 and is at the Outstanding level. Second-team is a 3.41-3.70 and is at the Superior level while a 3.20-3.40 is the third-team All-America and is at the Excellent level.
Leading the way for the Lions with his second straight first-team Academic All-America selection by the ACWPC is Heafner. The fourth-year senior has a 3.75 GPA as a Buisness Law major. Earning 2007-08 LMU Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors, Heafner has followed that with an impressive senior year.
Heafner was named second-team NCAA All-Tournament after helping the Lions finish third in the NCAA Championships. He had 22 goals, 10 assists, 23 kickouts drawn, 21 steals and 16 field blocks while serving as team captain.
Adding to his third-team All-America honors for his play in the pool was Forai. The sophomore earned second-team Academic honors this season with a 3.43 GPA as a pre-med science major. He was a third-team Academic selection a year ago.
Forai was the 2007-08 LMU Male Athlete of the Year as a freshman and as a sophomore he has put up numbers that might help him do it again. He led the Lions in goals for the second straight year with 53. Forai's offense helped the Lions to a record setting year, including a No. 5 ranking in the final National Coaches Poll of the season. It is the highest final ranking in program history as they went 21-10 on the year, equaling the second-most wins in program history.
The Lions finished the National Collegiate Men's Water Polo Championship in third place thanks to a convincing 11-4 win over Navy.
Earning third-team Academic honors by the ACWPC was Asajavicius, Milligan and Samuels. The freshman Asajavicius was named the WWPA Newcomer of the year in 2008 after scoring 49 goals in his first season at LMU. He earned a 3.40 GPA his first semester as an International Business major.
As for the redshirt sophomore Milligan, he has a 3.37 GPA as a Business major. He was a second-team Academic selection last year and finished his second season of play for the Lions appearing in 28 games, scoring five times with nine assists and 23 steals.
The freshman Samuels gained increased playing time as the season progressed in his first year of collegiate water polo. He posted a 3.23 GPA as an International Business major.
- GO LIONS -