Lariat Athlete Spotlight: Mark Vital

Mark Vital reacts to play against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the National Championship game. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer

Senior forward Mark Vital is our Lariat Spotlight Athlete of the Week. Vital played a major role in Baylor basketball’s National Championship win over Gonzaga Monday, 86-70. Vital posted a game-high 11 rebounds, helping Baylor absolutely dominate the glass, a major factor in their victory.

A fifth-year senior, Vital committed to Baylor back in 2013 and has been an important member of the program since. After taking a redshirt year during the 2016-17 year, Vital has played 126 games during his five years at Baylor. Vital has the most Big 12 wins by a Baylor player in program history.

This season, Vital, nicknamed ‘The Villain,’ has averaged 5.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Vital has been a leader on the defensive side of the ball, commanding one of the best defensive units in the nation.

“Mark does so many little things that constitute winning, and the great thing is the players respect that and appreciate that and so does Baylor Nation,” Baylor head coach Scott Drew said.