The NIAAA and ABW salute 2020 Wooden Cup high school athlete recipients

2020 Wooden Cup high school recipients
(from left to right) Mike Blackburn of NIAAA, Natalya Newsome, Max Friedman, Brad Catherman

Athletes for a Better World (ABW) and The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) have formed a partnership to annually recognize one male and one female national NIAAA scholarship winner as automatic recipients of the prestigious Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup.  These two high school athletes will join one collegiate and one professional recipient each year as exemplary role models of the ABW Code for Living.  The recipients of the high school class of 2019 are Natalya Blair Newsome and Max David Friedman who will receive the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup in the spring of 2020.  ABW Executive Director Brad Catherman and NIAAA officials celebrated this achievement with the two recipients at the Opening General Session of the National Athletic Directors Conference conducted on December 14, 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland.

The NIAAA Student Scholarship/Essay competition recognizes distinguished high school student athletes in the attribute areas of scholastics, leadership, citizenship, participation, volunteerism and the importance of school sports participation in the student’s life.  The ABW Code for Living criteria have been incorporated into the scholarship application by asking applicants to reflect upon the tenets of life lessons learned through sport and how they relate and impact their life.  The ABW book entitled Winning More Than the Game challenges readers to consider the Code for Living via exercises, as a springboard for life qualities of character development.

Following are profiles of the two recipients:

Natalya Blair Newsome – Rogers High School, Newport, Rhode Island

Natalya graduated from Rogers High School with a grade point average of 3.8. She is attending Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene Texas, majoring in Biology and Pre-Physical Therapy. The Director of Athletics at Rogers High School is James Cawley, CAA. Natalya earned 12 varsity letters in her high school career, competing all seasons while participating in the sports of soccer, track & field and softball.  She served as captain of her track & field and softball teams during her senior season. Natalya was active in her school serving as a member of student council and National Honor Society. She also was active as vice-president of the International Club and a vital member of Students Against Destructive Decisions.  Natalya speaks fluently three languages, English, Russian and Ukrainian. In her community and church, Natalya was a volunteer in events such as Light the Night with The Tim Tebow Foundation, while serving as a camp counselor for Ukrainian refugee children in Poland as a group translator.

Max David Friedman – Gerstell Academy, Reisterstown, Maryland

Max graduated from Gerstell Academy with a 4.0 grade point average.  He is now attending Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, with plans to major in Pre-medicine.  The athletic administrator at Gerstell Academy is Christine Hryzak, CMAA. Max earned 10 varsity letters participating in soccer, basketball, baseball and lacrosse, while serving as captain for his soccer team. Max was recognized by his team and coaches as a Gerstell Falcon Leadership Award winner for his leadership contributions during his senior seasons. Academically, he ranked number one in his class, while involving himself in seven different honor societies.  Besides being a National Honor society member, Max also had involvement in Art, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Spanish. He also received the Spanish Honor Society Joseph Adams Senior Scholarship award. Leadership roles held include 4 years as Class Vice-President, Honor Council, editor of the Roaring Run Review and a member of the Chess Club, Community Action Group, Japanese, Physics and Theater Clubs.  Max’s community activities included volunteering at Our Daily Bread Hot Meal Program in Baltimore, and First Fruits Farm. He also served as a counselor at The All skills camp, and basketball camp at Gerstell Academy.

About the NIAAA

The NIAAA is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the national leadership organization for high school and middle school athletic administrators. With current individual membership of over 12,000 the NIAAA consists of athletic administrators from associations in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Internationally. The NIAAA leads in providing professional development for athletic administrators, and serving as a resource and provider of safe and plentiful participation opportunities for the nation’s 7.9 million student-athletes. With conducting education- based athletic programs as the focus, NIAAA membership provides opportunity for professional development, education, certification, national award recognition and exchange of ideas with athletic administrators throughout the nation and world.

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