ATLANTA (January 14, 2014) – The 10th Annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given for the most outstanding role model among athletes, announced its nominees for the 2014 award ceremony according to Fred Northup, President, Athletes for a Better World.
The professional recipient will be Drew Brees, the 2009 Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. A native of Austin, TX, Brees attended Westlake High School and led his football team to a perfect 16-0 record and the 5A State Championship while garnering 5A Offensive Player of the Year honors. He attended Purdue University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from the prestigious Krannert School of Management. A two-time Heisman finalist, Brees led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance during the 2000 season. In that same year he won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top collegiate player as well as being named Academic All-American Player of the Year and was a recipient of the National Football Foundation’s post-graduate scholarship. He still holds virtually all of the passing records in the Big Ten. In his professional career he has been elected to seven Pro Bowls while being named 2004 Comeback player of the Year, 2006 All-Pro Team, 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, 2008 and 2011 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP.
As much pride as Brees takes in his on field performance, he takes even more pride in his community service endeavors. Drew and his wife, Brittany, established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 and since then have contributed and/or committed over $17,000,000 to help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need.
In New Orleans, he has become “an athlete as adored and appreciated as any in an American city today.”When Sports Illustrated selected him for the 2010 Sportsman of the Year award, it was in large part for his leadership in helping lead the city of New Orleans’ rebirth after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. As a part of that effort his Foundation worked to help rebuild and restore and recreate academic and athletic facilities, parks and playgrounds, after-school programs, mentoring programs for the intellectually disabled, neighborhood revitalization projects and child care facilities in New Orleans. In addition Drew sponsors the Rebuilding thru Brotherhood program to invite fellow Sigma Chi members to the New Orleans community to build homes with the Habitat for Humanity.
Drew lives with his wife Brittany and sons Baylen, Bowen and Callen in New Orleans.
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, 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 athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. The award recipients will be announced at a ceremony held at the Atlanta History Center on April 23rd.
With Jack Nicklaus, Pat Summitt, Dikembe Mutombo, 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 professional sports. Nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports.
The 2014 Collegiate Wooden Cup recipient will be announced at the award ceremony April 22. Finalists for the collegiate division include:
- Aaron Craft, Ohio State University, Basketball
- Kelly Dennis, Chestnut Hill College, Tennis
- Dau Jok, University of Pennsylvania, Basketball
- Jeffrey Reppucci, Holy Cross, Hockey
- Elizabeth Tucker, Notre Dame, Soccer
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.
About Athletes for a Better World:
Founded in 1998, Athletes for a Better World (ABW) exists to change the culture of sport by developing individual character, teamwork, and civic responsibility through commitment to the Code for Living. ABW’s vision is to have the Code become a part of every sport at every level, so that it becomes the common language and standard expectation of behavior for everyone. ABW provides free support and resources to coaches and athletes across the country who want to teach and live out these values. “The Code for Living” can be found on playing fields, locker rooms and athletic facilities across the country. Currently, ABW players and coaches are represented in every state and several foreign countries.