11:35 PM PST, December 18, 2012
Newport Harbor High senior Curtis Fink has committed to play for Princeton University, he announced in an email Tuesday.
Fink led Newport Harbor with 56 goals and 50 steals to go with 22 assists. He helped Newport Harbor (21-7, 5-0 in league) win its third straight Sunset League title and advance to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals. Newport Harbor also won the S&R Sport Cup, defeating league rival Los Alamitos in the championship match.
Fink earned his second straight first-team all-league selection in senior season.
Here's what Fink said in his email:
"I dedicated myself to my studies in the classroom and work in the pool with the hopes of someday having this opportunity. Someday is today.
After sharing the news with my parents and brothers, I called Princeton University's head water polo coach Luis Nicolao to share with him my commitment to become a Tiger. Princeton University is the best choice for me to reach my academic and athletic goals.
An opportunity to study at one of the world's best universities and to play polo doesn't come along often. I owe an unexplainable amount of gratitude to my mom and dad, who love to watch me play water polo, but always insisted that my academics come first.
Newport Harbor did a great job in preparing me for this next challenge academically with outstanding teachers like Mr. Clay and Mr. Torres. But I owe my tendencies to be competitive in the pool to my coaches who trained me along the way.
I was lucky to have Orange County's coach Peter Asic and Ivan Vranjes teach me the fundamentals of water polo.
I was fortunate to play behind and to be motivated by OC Split athletes like Griffin White and Josh Samuels.
Entering Newport's water polo dynasty, under head coach Jason Lynch, I learned the benefits of conditioning and work ethic like I never knew possible.
Newport's Coach Robert Lynn and Pavle Filipovic continued to refine my skills and challenged me to be the best player I could be.
I look forward in becoming a productive member of the Tigers team, continuing to work for league championships and an opportunity to compete in an NCAA Championship."
— Steve Virgen