ATLANTA (January 21, 2015) – The 11th Annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given for the most outstanding role model among athletes, announced its nominees for the 2015 award ceremony according to Fred Northup, President, Athletes for a Better World.
John Wooden, who won ten national championships during the years 1964–1975 as basketball coach at UCLA is regarded as the greatest college coach of any sport who ever lived. He is universally regarded as one of the finest human beings to ever grace the world of sports, and his character, conduct and selfless gifts stand at the highest level by any standard. When Coach Wooden learned about Athletes for a Better World, he gave authorization to attach his name to this annual award and he attended and addressed the inaugural event in Los Angeles in 2005. In his honor, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to two distinguished athletes, one collegiate and one professional or Olympic, for their character and leadership both on and off the field and for their contributions to sport and society.
The Wooden Cup is given to a collegiate and a professional or Olympic athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. The award recipients will be announced at a ceremony held on April 27 at the Atlanta History Center.
Olympic Gold Medalist Shannon Miller will receive the Cup. With a combined total of 16 World Championships and Olympic medals, Miller is the most decorated gymnast, male or female, in U.S. history. Since her Olympic career ended Miller has begun a Foundation to combat childhood obesity, and as a cancer survivor has become a role model and inspiration to many. Shannon Miller Lifestyle is an educational program to help and encourage people in health and nutrition, exercise, and motherhood.
With Jack Nicklaus, Pat Summitt, Dikembe Mutombo, Drew Brees, Mia Hamm, Peyton Manning, John Smoltz, John Lynch, Andrea Yaeger and Cal Ripken, Jr. as previous recipients, the Wooden Cup is becoming one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Recipients are considered role models and athletes of excellence both on and off the field.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all collegiate and Olympic or professional sports. Nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports.
The 2015 Collegiate Wooden Cup recipient will be announced at the award ceremony April 27. Finalists for the collegiate division include:
- Madeline Buckley, William Smith College, Soccer
- Zach Hyman, University of Michigan, Hockey
- Maria Lanyi, Northeastern University, Soccer
- Chris Tamasi, Amherst College, Football
- Tiana Woolridge, Princeton University, Volleyball
Recipients of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup are chosen by a committee chaired by Vincent Dooley, former University of Georgia athletic director, and other distinguished individuals involved in athletics across the country.