John Wooden, one of the greatest coaches and positive role models in the history of the NCAA, gave Athletes for a Better World (ABW) permission to present an award in his name. The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to distinguished athletes from any sport – two high school, one intercollegiate, and one professional – that best display character, teamwork, and citizenship, the attributes Athletes for a Better World deems central to transforming individuals, sport, and society. The award establishes the recipients as athletes of excellence both on and off the field, role models both as performers and persons, the most important and distinctive honor athletes can achieve.
The Wooden Cup is open to all college athletes, all divisions, all sports. For this reason, the Wooden Cup is regarded as the highest award in college sports.
The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is managed by the Board of Directors of Athletes for a Better World with the assistance of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup Advisory Committee, chaired by former University of Georgia Athletic Director Vincent Dooley and composed of selected members of the National Board, the Athletic Advisory Board, and other special members.
In order to be nominated for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, the athlete must exemplify the values of the Code for Living. The Cup will be presented at a date to be determined early next year.
In early December, a list of college semi-finalists will be announced, as well as the college finalists who will be interviewed on their campus. All finalists will have a donation made to the charity of their choice.
All finalists must attend the banquet dinner, and will be recognized and honored along with a representative of their school. The high school, college, and professional recipients will be honored at the banquet.
The unique amphora vessel is hand-blown glass from the Seattle Glassblowing Studio. Custom designed for ABW and the Wooden Cup by glass artists Cliff Goodman and Cyrena Stefano, this Cup was blown with the concepts of sportsmanship, integrity, community and elegance in mind. The rustic surface application, called scavo, mimics the appearance of traditional ceramic techniques used by the ancient Greeks. Their form was inspired by the ancient amphora which were used by the victors in the Pan-Athenic games to store the oil which they were awarded for winning.