Waldemar (Val) Sender ’91, the all-time leading scorer in the history of the UMass Dartmouth men’s basketball program, is one of 12 individuals set to be inducted into the Little East Conference Hall of Fame this fall.
Sender was a dominant force in the middle for at then Southeastern Massachusetts University, as he helped lead Head Coach Brian Baptiste’s Corsairs to an overall mark of 81-32 (.717) from 1987-91. SMU captured a trio of Little East tournament crowns in 1988, 1990 and 1991, and in each of those campaigns the Corsairs advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen.
A native of Poland, Sender was named as the 1987-88 Little East Rookie of the Year after averaging 14.6 points and 5.3 rebounds, and he would go on to earn first team all-conference honors over the following three seasons. Val was also an All-New England and All-Northeast Region selection in his final three collegiate campaigns, earning first team honors in 1989 and 1991 and second team accolades in 1990.
Sender saved his best for last, as he became the first All-American in program history after earning third team honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Val averaged 20.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest during that 1990-91 season that saw SMU post a 23-6 overall mark, and he became the second player in Little East history to earn All-America distinction from the NABC.
Sender sits atop the school’s career scoring list with 2,201 points, as he posted two of the top five single-season scoring marks in program history during his sophomore and junior campaigns. Val also holds the Corsair career record for most free throws made (581) and games played (111).
Sender was a member of the final SMU graduating class before the University’s name change in 1991, as he earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Val was inducted into the Corsair Hall of Fame in 1996, and he becomes the seventh UMass Dartmouth honoree in the Little East Hall of Fame on a list that includes his former coach. Other Corsair greats that have previously been enshrined by the conference include Sender’s former teammate Kevin Kolek ’88, men’s track & field All-American and national champion Jonathan Garcia ’08, former Director of Athletics and Little East Commissioner Bob Dowd, longtime Sports Information Director Bill Gathright and former men’s & women’s tennis coach Warren Preti.
A ceremony honoring Sender’s induction will take place on campus later this year.
(Materials from the Little East Conference Media Relations Office were also used in the preparation of this release).