The 2011-12 A&M-Commerce athletic season was filled with a number of impressive performance and memorable highlights achieved by the Lion student-athletes. To close out the athletic season, LionAthletics.com is looking back at the top-15 moments of the year, voted on by athletic administrators, media members and Lion fans. The moments will be revealed on Mondays and Thursdays, leading into the start of the 2012-13 A&M-Commerce athletic season.
COMMERCE, Texas – Our number three moment of the 2011-12 A&M-Commerce athletic season seems miniscule compared to a pair of other numbers relating to it – 1,000 and 200. But both of those represent amazing career achievements by men's basketball's Brad Hambrick, who solidified his status among the Lion all-time greats.
Heading into the season, Hambrick sat on the cusp of a handful of career milestones. He entered the year with 167 three pointers, which was tied with the late Kevin Widemond for the most in program history. Hambrick also sat at 854 career points, sitting well within striking range of becoming the next member of the prestigious 1,000-point club.
It didn't take long for Hambrick to cement himself as the Lions' all-time three-point leader. With just over two minutes gone in the second half in the season opener at Southern Arkansas, Hambrick drained a three from the right wing to give A&M-Commerce a commanding 43-28 lead, making him the Lion three-point king in the process.
Two months later, the second milestone was achieved as Hambrick tied his career-best with 25 points, including his 1,000th in a hard-fought 77-72 loss at West Texas A&M. But he would make up for it three days later at home against Eastern New Mexico as Hambrick would pump in 15 points, including a pair of three pointers to give him 200 career treys, helping lead the Lions to a huge 88-77 victory over the Greyhounds.
Hambrick continued to assume the role of team leader down the stretch, with head coach Sam Walker calling him the "catalyst" for A&M-Commerce's late season surge. Hambrick led the Lone Star Conference in minutes played, averaging 34.3 per game, including a career-high 51 in the triple overtime thriller at Texas A&M-Kingsville. Hambrick played every minute of the final five games of the season for the Lions, a span of 205 consecutive minutes without a breather.
Number five's legacy among A&M-Commerce basketball has solidified its spot as Hambrick closes out his career with 1,206 points and 227 three pointers. Hambrick ranks second all-time in program history in career three point percentage (.390) and started 88 of his 109 career games, averaging just shy of 30 minutes per game.
Hambrick was named the Lone Star Conference North Division Freshman of the Year in 2008-09 and was a two-time All-Lone Star Conference second team selection (2010-11 and 2011-12). This past spring at the A&M-Commerce All-Sports Banquet, he was recognized as the men's basketball Player of the Year as well as the Lions' Dr. Jesse J. Hawthorne Male Athlete of the Year co-winner with football's Taylor Fore.
"What Brad meant to this program and to this university is hard to quantify," said Walker. "He was the leader of this team and never once worried about his own statistics or his own accolades. Whatever we needed Brad to do, he did and did so without complaint. He is an amazing young man and has definitely left a lasting impression on this program for years to come."
A&M-Commerce Top-15 Moments Countdown Schedule
Moment #1 - Thursday, August 2
Moment #2 - Monday, July 30
Moment #3 - Brad Hambrick Cements His Legacy Among Lion All-Time Greats
Moment #4 - A&M-Commerce Takes Down Angelo State on Penalty Kicks in LSC Quarterfinals
Moment #5 - Pair of Lions Named Lone Star Conference Academic Players of the Year
Moment #6 - Marcus Graham Bursts into Lion Record Books on Senior Night
Moment #7 - Facing Match Point, Volleyball Rallies to Take Down Incarnate Word 3-2
Moment #8 - Chantry McMahan Finishes Second at LSC Golf Championships
Moment #9 - Men's Cross Country Ties Best Finish in Program History at LSC Championships
Moment #10 - Track and Field Notches A Pair of LSC Individual Champions
Moment #11 - Men's Basketball Wins Final Three Games to Qualify for LSC Tournament
Moment #12 - Football Takes to the Turf at Cowboys Stadium
Moment #13 - Pair of Men's Golfers Capture Individual Tournament Titles
Moment #14 - Women's Track and Field Sets Three School Records
Moment #15 - Women's Basketball Upsets Angelo State 64-61 in Season Finale