The 18th Annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given to the most outstanding role models among athletes, has announced the collegiate honorees for its 2023 award ceremony to be held April 27th at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. They join Professional recipients Nancy Lieberman and Joakim Noah, plus Abby Hughes and Cody Hagen from the national high school ranks.
The 2023 Collegiate female recipient is Myah Selland of South Dakota State University. Myah is maintaining a 3.98 GPA in Exercise Science, leading the Jackrabbits basketball team as the top-team GPA in all of NCAA Division I. She was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, and on the annual Summit League Academic Honor Roll. On the basketball court, Myah was named MVP of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament while leading her team to the WNIT Championship, achieved WBCA All-America honors, and is a Finalist for the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year. In service to the community, she co-founded the Her Turn Foundation to fund summer sports camp attendance, acts as mentor for the Brookings County Youth Mentoring Program, volunteers at the Rock Steady Boxing Parkinson’s disease program, and raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
The 2023 Collegiate male recipient is Deslin Alexandre of the University of Pittsburgh. He earned his degree in Communications and is now enrolled in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business. Deslin was a two-time All-ACC Academic Football Team member, and perennial ACC Academic Honor Roll Student. On the field, he was team Captain for the 2021 ACC Champion Panthers, was 2021 Honorable mention All-ACC defensive end and now NFL prospect. Deslin’s citizenship activities include being named to the 2022 Allstate Good Works Team, partnering with the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation to create the Fifth Down Campaign for students in Deslin’s home country of Haiti, volunteering at the Red Door to support the homeless, visiting patients at the Pittsburgh VA Medical Center, working with the Voting Matters registration campaign, and hosting Make-A-Wish children at the team facility.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization which celebrates the unselfish generosity of many participants in sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to all athletes in all high school, college, and professional or Olympic sports. Annual nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports, and to athletes in public and private high schools across the country in partnership with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
John Wooden, who won ten national championships during the years 1964-1975 as basketball coach at UCLA, is commonly regarded as the greatest college coach of any sport who ever lived. Universally regarded as one of the finest human beings to ever grace the world of sports, 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 six distinguished athletes: one male and one female professional or Olympic recipient, one male and one female collegiate athlete, and a male and female athlete from the American high schools, for their character and leadership both on and off the field.