For immediate release:
PORTLAND, Oregon (July 17) -- For the first time in eight years the Ad Rutschman Small College Male Athlete of the Year trophy is on its way to Klamath Falls.
Mitchell Fink, a senior-to-be on the Oregon Institute of Technology basketball team, was presented with the honor by Sport Oregon and NBC Sports Northwest on Wednesday. Fink, who garnered NAIA All-American honors for the second straight year in March, appeared on NBC Sports Northwest’s talk show “The Bridge” to receive his trophy.
The Clackamas High graduate became the Owls’ first male recipient of the award since decathlete Bryant Sentman claimed the crown in 2011. Fink is the seventh OIT athlete – male and female – to receive the award, which was created in 2001.
Only Linfield College has claimed more Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year trophies (11).
The Oregon Sports Awards’ voting panel gave Fink the nod over finalists Connor Bailey (Willamette University baseball) and Zach Beltz (Southern Oregon track and field). 15 athletes were nominated for the award by members of Oregon’s Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college athletic departments.
For Fink, the award is the cherry on top in a banner junior campaign. The 6-1 guard was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive season after leading the Owls to an appearance in the NAIA Division II National Tournament Title Game.
He averaged 15.1 points, 7.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Fink also shot 43.7 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range and 83.8 percent from the foul line.
Fink earned his first set of first team NAIA All-American honors as well. He was a third team selection in 2018.
The Owls finished first in league play with Fink running the point. He was voted as the Owls’ team MVP at an end-of-season banquet in June.
Fink also inched closer to the top of OIT’s men’s basketball record books. His team-high 528 points put him at fourth on OIT’s all-time scoring list at 1,553 points. Fink also dished out 252 total assists to move to second all-time in career assists (653). He finished 146 rebounds and 59 steals.
Fink was joined in studio with his father, Russ, uncle, Joe, and grandmother, Roseanne. Click here to watch clips of Fink’s interview and to view a behind-the-scenes look at his time on the air.
Sport Oregon and NBC Sports Northwest also presented Annie Wright, a senior on George Fox University’s track and field team, as the winner of the Ad Rutschman Small College Female Athlete of the Year. All amateur Oregon Sports Awards will be announced live on “The Bridge” each Wednesday through July.
About the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year award:
Ad Rutschman guided Linfield College to four national championships, three in football and one in baseball, in 24 seasons. He is the only college coach at any level to win national titles in two different sports. A five-time Slats Gill Award winner, he is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
This award goes to the outstanding male and female student-athletes representing the state’s 14 NCAA Division II and III, NAIA-affiliated colleges and universities, and 10 community colleges.
2019 Oregon Sports Awards sponsors:
Presenting sponsor: HP
State Champion Sponsors: NBC Sports Northwest Nike Pamplin Media Group Portland Thorns Portland Timbers Portland Trail Blazers Providence Heath and Services Washington Trust Bank
About Sport Oregon:
Sport Oregon’s mission is to drive economic growth and enhance Oregon’s quality of life through sports. Our non-profit organization has served as the state’s sports economic development arm for more than two decades, injecting more than $350 million into Oregon’s economy through sports tourism.
Supported by more than 150 annual members, Sport Oregon works relentlessly to enhance the state’s economy and quality of life by attracting sports events and franchises. Sport Oregon’s major achievements include securing the NCAA Basketball Tournament, Davis Cup World Final, multiple U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Women’s World Cup Soccer and the Dew Tour. Sport Oregon was recognized as “Sports Commission of the Year” in 2010 by the National Association of Sports Commissions. View a complete list of Past Events and Future Events.
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