BOSTON, Mass. – UMass Lowell men’s basketball graduate student Christian Lutete (Silver Spring, Md.) has been named the 2019-20 America East Man of the Year, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday.
One of the conference’s most prestigious honors, the Man of the Year Award recognizes the senior student-athlete who has best distinguished himself throughout his collegiate career in areas like academic achievement, athletic excellence, service, and leadership.
“Christian is truly a special young man who epitomizes what it means to be a student-athlete,” said UMass Lowell Director of Athletics Peter Casey. “I have always been so impressed by Christian’s impeccable character, disposition, and integrity. He used his time at UMass Lowell to not only excel on the court but to succeed in the classroom and be a leader in the community, as well. In doing so, he lifted those around him and has done his part to leave UMass Lowell better than he found it. He is truly deserving of the America East Man of the Year title, and we are so proud to have him as the first student-athlete to represent us with this honor.”
Lutete becomes not only the first River Hawk to earn the America East Man of the Year Award, but also the league’s first men’s basketball student-athlete. The conference began honoring a Man of the Year in 2015, to accompany its Woman of the Year title, which was introduced in 2006. Binghamton’s Jack Fitzgerald and UMBC’s Ilia Rattsev were also finalists for this year’s award.
“We are extremely proud of Christian for winning such a prestigious award,” said UMass Lowell Men’s Basketball Head Coach Pat Duquette. “This speaks volumes about his character and integrity. He strives to be excellent in every area, treats others with respect and compassion, and has represented himself and our program very well.”
This recognition caps off a standout season and collegiate career for Lutete. On the court in 2019-20, he became the program’s first-ever two-time NABC Division I All-District Team honoree when he finished second in the America East with 19.3 points per game. He added a team-best 7.0 rebounds per game and a 51.6 field goal percentage. The guard, who finished his tenure with 1,431 career points, also set a Division I single-season program record this year with 619 total points and an all-time, single-game program record with 51 points at LIU Brooklyn on November 8.
“I am truly grateful to receive the AE Man of the Year Award on the behalf of my loved ones, community, and River Hawk Nation,” said Lutete. “I live by the quote, ‘how we do anything is how we do everything.’ As African-American men, we are more than just athletes. Each day we destroy that false narrative. It was important for me to thrive not only on the court but also in the classroom and in my community. It takes a village to raise a child, and I have learned so much from you all to reach this point, so this award is for all of us.”
Lutete was just as successful in his endeavors off the court, as he graduated with a perfect 4.0 from the university’s peace and conflict studies master’s program this spring. He earned numerous academic accolades, including CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team recognition, as well as America East Winter Scholar-Athlete and America East All-Academic Team nods.
He was also a leader in the community, spending time volunteering with the Lowell Boys and Girls Club, the Peace and Conflict Studies Club, and at various elementary schools as a classroom reader. Through his graduate program, he was a lead researcher on several issues, such as how the under-representation of African-American men in fields outside of athletics affects younger generations. Additionally, Lutete completed a co-op with UMass Lowell’s DC-CAP Scholars program where he mentored 20 freshmen at the university, who all came from the same DC public school system that he attended.
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