2020-21 MIT Student-Athlete Excellence Banquet Nominees For the Malcolm G. Kispert Awards (Men's Teams)

Presented annually to the Scholar-Athletes of the Year from men's and women's teams.


Nathan Basinger

Junior - Football/Track and Field - Course 2 (Mechanical Engineering) - Dalton, Ohio

A captain throughout 2020 and 2021, Nathan has led from afar through his inspirational messages to the team. He created videos of his home gym constructed from items in his garage and elements purchased at Home Depot in the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Two-time NEWMAC Football All-Conference First Team
  • Two-time NEWMAC Football Academic All-Conference Team
  • 2019 NEWMAC Track and Field Champion in shot put
  • NEWMAC Track and Field All-Conference First Team
  • 2020 NEWMAC Track and Field Academic All-Conference Team
  • Two-time All-New England Division III Outdoor Track and Field (Discus, Shot Put)
  • All-New England Division III Indoor Track and Field (Weight Throw)

Loukas Carayannopoulos

Senior - Soccer - Course 22 (Nuclear Engineering) - Westfield, N.J.

Loukas is a model MIT citizen who has excelled both academically and athletically. He has been a great example for our players of how an MIT student-athlete must comport themselves to be successful. His high intelligence is dwarfed only by his outstanding work ethic.
  • Two-time NEWMAC All-Conference Team
  • 2017 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year
  • Three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team

Ian Hinkley

Senior - Basketball - Course 2 and Course 15 (Mechanical Engineering and Business Management) - Raleigh, N.C.

Ian has developed into a tremendous leader over the past four years and has been fundamental to the growth of our team’s camaraderie during the pandemic. His leadership and dedication have facilitated the team’s ability to lead classmates, alumni, and friends and family through action oriented discussions to address challenging social issues.
  • 2020 NEWMAC All-Conference Second Team
  • In 2019-20, he ranked third in the NEWMAC in made three-pointers (87), sixth in three-point field-goal percentage (41.6), and fourth in blocks (28)

Justin Liu

Senior - Swimming and Diving - Course 20 (Biological Engineering) - Linwood, N.J.

Justin works every day to raise the bar of what it means to be a 'student-athlete.' Throughout his career, Justin's selfless leadership style has served as a bright light for our team and he has proven his incredible ability to persevere in the face of immense uncertainty.
  • Four-time All-American
  • Four-time NEWMAC Champion
  • Helped set the Zesiger Pool records for the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay
  • Two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team
  • Two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American

Joe O'Connor

Senior - Squash - Course 6 and Course 18 (Computer Science and Mathematics) - Kennebunkport, Maine

Joe is as a role model to all those on the team. He displays constant focus and his hard work and determination is clear in both his academic and athletic pursuits. Joe's experience and demeanor mark him a true leader, and he has a remarkable ability to perform exceedingly well in high pressure situations.
  • Three-time College Squash Association Individual National Championship qualifier
  • 2021 CSA Scholar-Athlete
  • 41-25 career record
  • Played in either the number one or number two position throughout his career
  • Helped MIT win the program's first CSA national title as the Engineers won the Division C Summers Cup in 2019

Yorai Shaoul

Senior - Track and Field - Course 6 (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) - Raanana, Israel

Yorai is undoubtedly one of the best competitors I have ever witnessed. His 18 points that led us to a runner-up team finish at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor National Championship was impressive, but not as important as his concern for his teammate competing against him.
  • NCAA Champion in triple jump (2019 Indoor and 2019 Outdoor)
  • National Runner-up in long jump (2019 Outdoor)
  • National Runner-up in Triple Jump (2018 Indoor and 2018 Outdoor)
  • Five-time NCAA All-American
  • Two-time USTFCCCA New England Region Field Event Athlete of the Year
  • Two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team
  • Two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team

Richard Sollee

Sophomore - Lightweight Crew - Course 6 (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) - Jacksonville, Fla.

Rich is the strongest athlete our team has ever had. To be as successful as he is, to put in the years of work required to achieve the level of success that he has attained, all while maintaining a perfect GPA at MIT is truly impressive.
  • Was the #2 seat of the Lightweight 8+ that finished 15th at the 2019 Head of the Charles
  • Set the lightweight world record for the 100,000 meter ergometer (completing the task in just under 6 hours and 40 minutes, a time that would have earned him the heavyweight record as well)
  • U23 lightweight champion and U23 overall runner-up at the 2021 CRASH-B Championship (an ergometer-based competition)

Michael Zhao

Senior - Tennis - Course 14 (Economics) - Princeton Junction, N.J.

Michael is the quintessential student athlete, who not only has excelled academically, but also was playing in the top position on our team. What speaks loudest to me about Michael's character and work ethic is that right now he is a graduating senior who has had his second season in a row taken from him because of the pandemic but continues to show up every day of practice and work as hard if not harder than anyone else on the court.
  • Three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete
  • Two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team
  • Compiled a 22-9 record in singles and a 22-22 mark in doubles
  • Helped MIT capture NEWMAC Championships in 2018 and 2019