Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLOROADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 5, 2009) – Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), an alternate for both the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball teams, has been selected as one of five finalists for the 79th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Sullivan Award. She was named as one of 12 semifinalists in early March.
The AAU James E. Sullivan Award, established in 1930 to honor a founder and past president of the AAU, is based on the qualities of leadership, character and sportsmanship. The award goes far beyond athletic accomplishment and honors those who have leadership skills and strong character which is evident in the nominee’s lifestyle as a whole.
Other finalists include Tyler Hansbrough (basketball), Shawn Johnson (gymnastics), Nastia Liuken (gymnastics) and the U.S. Men’s 4x100 Relay Team (swimming).
The Sullivan Award Reception and Presentation will take place April 15 at The New York Athletic Club in New York City. The night’s activities start with an athlete autograph session at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the awards presentation at 7:15 p.m.
Barboza trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2008 in an attempt to make the Olympic Games roster. Despite just two starts, she averaged 3.14 points per set at the 2008 Pan American Cup, while holding a .304 hitting efficiency with 2.72 kills per set in the event. Barboza averaged 2.07 points in three exhibition matches against 2008 Olympic Games gold medalist Brazil last June, including a 13-point performance in a starting role on June 11. Barboza played in 23 sets during the 2008 FIVB World Grand Prix totaling 18 points with just two set starts.
Barboza started training with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2003 and has two Pan American Games bronze medals to her credit. She was the youngest member of the 2003 Pan American Games team that competed in Dominican Republic, then was a starter for the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. Barboza was the only high school player invited to train for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. She went on to win the 2004 Gatorade National High School Volleyball Player for the second consecutive season while completing her prep career at Long Beach Wilson High School.
Barboza paced Stanford University to the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship match for the last three consecutive years, only to lose to Penn State University in the final in 2007 and 2008 and Nebraska in 2006. She earned her third consecutive American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America First-Team honor in 2008. Barboza finished her career at Stanford ranked ninth in career kills (1,639), sixth in digs (1,241) and ninth in service aces (115).
Barboza’s AAU experience includes the 2002 AAU/AVP Tour Champion U-18 Division while playing with Bree Peterson. She won the Under-17 Division of the 2004 AAU National Beach Volleyball Championship while playing with partner Stephanie Barry. Barboza teamed with U.S. Women’s National Team training member and Stanford teammate Alix Klineman to place second in the Under-17 Division of the 2004 AAU/AVP Tour Championship.
To read Barboza’s full bio, click here.
Other semifinalists for the 79th Annual Sullivan Award were Amanda Blumenherst (golf), Dara Torres (swimming), Jonathan Horton (gymnastics), Shawn Johnson (gymnastics), Erin Popovich (Paralympic swimming), Tyler Hansbrough (basketball), Sam Bradford (football), Nastia Liuken (gymnastics), Gerald ‘Buster’ Posey (baseball), The Lopez Family (Taekwondo) and the U.S. Men’s 4x100 Relay Team (swimming).