The Irvine Valley men's basketball team recently celebrated a special 2010-11 season at its end of the year banquet.
The Lasers finished with a record of 23-8 overall and reached the Southern California Regional Final.
They were one of the top eight teams in the state for the second straight year. The MVP and best rebounder award went to sophomore forward Travis Fulton.
Fulton, who is headed to the University of the Pacific, was also named first team all-Orange Empire Conference for the second season in a row and first team all-state.
Fulton averaged 16.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 0.9 steals during the 2010-11 season. He scored in double figures in 23 of 26 game, had nine games with 20 points or more and grabbed double-figure rebounds in eight games.
He finishes up at Irvine Valley, ranked fifth in program history in season scoring average (16.6 points) and sixth in career scoring average (14.6).
"Travis was really a gamer and was such a consistent performer for us," Coach Jerry Hernandez said. "He can score inside and out, is physical and can rebound and is a solid defender. We are really going to miss all the things he could do for us on the floor.”
Sophomore center Ephraim Ekanem and sophomore point guard Christian Mack also earned two team awards each.
Ekanem was named most improved and best academic player. Mack was given awards for best defender and most inspirational player.
The 6-7 Ekanem was a back-up during the 2009-10 season, but made huge strides for the Lasers this past year. He ended up being named honorable mention all-Orange Empire Conference after averaging 8.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game during the 2010-11 season.
He started all 31 of Irvine Valley’s games. Ekanem also averaged 9.8 points and 8.3 rebounds and shot 59.3 percent during conference games. He was second in the Orange Empire Conference in field goal percentage at 55.2 percent.
Ekanem is headed to Northern Arizona on a scholarship in the fall.
"He has come a long way by working so hard and is only going to continue to get better," Hernandez said. "I think he is going to be a big contributor at Northern Arizona."
Mack averaged just 3.9 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds a game in 2010-11, but Hernandez said Mack's stats didn't tell the whole story.
"He was our best defensive player, one of our best leaders and just a solid all-around point guard," Hernandez said. "He did everything we asked of him here at IVC. He is a player that we are definitely going to miss. He is a winner."
Mack will be playing at Division II Northeastern State in Oklahoma next season.