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 six distinguished athletes from any sport – male/female high school, male/female intercollegiate, and male/female professional – who 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.
Since 2016, ABW and The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) have formed a partnership to recognize a male and female student-athlete as national scholarship winners and recipients of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup high school division. The NIAAA’s competition includes an essay portion which asks the applicants to contemplate how the ABW Code for Living has been reflected in their life experiences.