Kreps Named Finalist for Chip Hilton Award
March 30, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas - UIC senior guard Robo Kreps was named a finalist for the prestigious Chip Hilton Award Wednesday, a plaudit that annually honors a graduating senior for his outstanding character, leadership and talent on the floor.
Chip Hilton Sports began presenting its awards in 1997 as a way to honor outstanding excellence and character in college basketball during the season. This year's Chip Hilton Award will be presented by the organization and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) at the Final Four in Houston on April 3.
A selection committee comprised of Dan Beebe, Jay Bilas, Dave Gavitt, Bob Hammel, Bob Knight, Pat Knight, Bill Packer, Dean Smith and Dick Vitale will vote on the final winner. The other three finalists are Jimmer Fredette of BYU, Charles Jenkins from Hofstra and Loyola's Andy Polka.
"It's nice to see Robo (Kreps) be recognized for such a great career at UIC," said head coach Howard Moore. "He is a warrior and a fierce competitor, but more importantly, Robo is a great leader. He was the heart and soul of our team last season, and I wish I had three more years to coach him."
Kreps recently wrapped up a brilliant career in a UIC Flames uniform. The program's all-time leader in games played, Kreps saw action in 125 contests the past four seasons, including 91 starting assignments. Kreps scored 1,594 career points, ranking seventh on the Flames' all-time scoring list.
Kreps also ranks in the top-10 all-time in field goals made (533; 7th), three-point field goals made (230; 4th), free throw percentage (.816; 5th), free throws made (298; 8th) and steals (146; 7th). He played a total of 3,944 minutes during his career, ranking third all-time, and his 91 starts are the eighth-most in school history.
During his senior season, Kreps moved from 16th to seventh on the all-time scoring list, passing the 1,200, 1,300, 1,400 and 1,500-point plateaus. He finished his career with 80 double-digit scoring efforts, including 25 outings with 20 or more points. Kreps is only the second player in program history to score 1,500 or more points, corral at least 400 rebounds and dish out 200 or more assists.
Aside from ranking in the top-10 of the Horizon League in scoring and leading the conference in minutes played as a senior, Kreps' most successful off-the-court trait may have been his leadership and passion. Kreps was the leading scorer returning from an 8-22 team, and endured a coaching change that didn't take place until late August, just two months before the season.
Moore and Kreps quickly developed a solid relationship, and Moore named him a co-captain for his senior season. Kreps also accepted the starting point guard duties, a position he had not permanently held in his previous three seasons in the program.
Kreps flourished in his new role early on, willing his team to three victories in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, and picking up Most Valuable Player Honors. It was evident to those in attendance that Kreps was fully grasping his new position, and taking it upon himself to lead his team to adjust to the new system and coaching staff.
While his best basketball may still be lying ahead, Kreps truly represents the essence of a "student-athlete." He is on track to graduate in May with a degree in kinesiology, and is currently completing an internship with the strength & conditioning coaches at UIC. He carries 3.15 cumulative grade-point-average.