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Hope College Sports Report

by Carolyn Binder

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Flying Dutchmen Senior Up For National Award

Hope men’s basketball player Grant Neil is among 202 nominees for the 2014 Allstate, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Good Works Teams®.

The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service. Neil is a senior forward from West Ottawa High School and the son of Hope men’s basketball coach Matt Neil.

“Our program, and Hope College as a whole, is very pleased that our athletes make priority to serve others,” Matt Neil said. “Grant has been a helping person his entire life and has demonstrated this characteristic in his several years of being a counselor at Camp Sunshine, his coordination the past two years of our after school work with Holland Heights K-7, volunteering at Zeeland Community Reformed Church's K-LIFE program (Kids Living Faith Everyday), doing work at the CCCD School in Jamaica, and working at several youth soccer and basketball camps.

“Our team mission statement, as drafted by our players, includes ... ‘and dedicated to serving others with integrity, discipline, and respect on and off the court’, so our hope is for our players to deliver on their mission.’ We are honored that Grant is a nominee with the other athletes who give back to their communities.” 

In its second year, the Allstate WBCA and NABC Good Works Teams® honor players at all levels of college basketball who represent the sport’s finest in the areas of leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. The student-athletes nominated for this prestigious award embody the true spirit of teamwork and giving back.

Hope guard Colton Overway (’13) was named to the 2013 Allstate Good Works Team.

“Allstate is proud to recognize these two outstanding groups of men and women whose commitment to service and volunteerism demonstrate that ‘good works’ extend beyond the basketball court,” said Pam Hollander, senior director of marketing for Allstate Insurance Company and a member of the 2014 WBCA and NABC Good Works Teams® selection panels. “Each of the nominees serves as a role model and inspiration to future generations seeking ways to give back, and another reason to celebrate the good happening in our communities.”

From the 84 WBCA nominees and 118 NABC nominees submitted by coaches and sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, special voting panels will select two 10-member teams comprised of five student-athletes from the NCAA® Division I level and five student-athletes from NCAA® Divisions II, III and the NAIA.

WNBA basketball star Tamika Catchings, who played at the University of Tennessee, will headline the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team® voting panel, while former Duke University student-athlete, two-time NCAA champion and seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill will serve on the Allstate NABC Good Works Team® panel. The final roster of 20 award recipients will be unveiled in February.

Members of the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team® will be invited by Allstate, an official corporate partner of the NCAA®, to the 2014 WBCA Convention and 2014 NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in Nashville, where they will participate in a community project in the city.

Members of the Allstate NABC Good Works Team® will attend the 2014 NABC Convention and 2014 NCAA® Men’s Final Four® in Dallas, where they will also participate in a community project. Allstate is an official corporate partner of the WBCA, NABC and NCAA. 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Hope Forward Honored By MIAA

Hope women’s basketball player Rebekah Llorens is the Co-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week for games played through December 1.

The junior from Grayslake, Ill., (Grayslake Central HS), scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action in leading the Flying Dutch to an 82-57 MIAA victory at Olivet.

Llorens made 8 of 17 shots from the field (47 percent) and all four of her free throws.

Llorens is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time this season and second time in her career. She shared the honor with Olivet center Stefanie Lang.