Oct. 27, 2010
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University safety Chima Nwachukwu has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 ARA Sportsmanship Award, presented annually by the Awards and Recognition Association (ARA) and given to one outstanding NCAA Division I collegiate football player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship. The 2010 Sportsmanship Award winner will be chosen next month.
A 2009 ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-American, Nwachukwu, a native of Allen, Texas, is a three-year starter in the Cougar defensive backfield. This season he has played in just four games, missing the last three due to injury. In his last outing at UCLA he recorded a season-high 11 tackles.
The senior posted a 4.0 GPA during his sophomore and junior years and served as WSU's 2009-10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president. Additionally, Nwachukwu has assisted in several community outreach programs, including the Cougs Helping Haiti Fundraiser, Nike Shoe Drive and Reading Buddies, a program where student-athletes volunteer once a week to read to elementary school students.
Nwachukwu is the second Cougar in the past four years to be an ARA finalist, joining former teammate Alex Brink, who ended up being the national winner in 2007. Other previous winners include Kansas State University tight end Jeron Mastrud (2009), Northwestern University receiver Eric Peterman (2008); Rutgers University fullback, Brian Leonard (2006) and University of Memphis running back, DeAngelo Williams (2005).
"The word is getting out to a wider audience about the importance of sportsmanship as the number of candidates more than doubled from last year," said B.J. Bailey, CRS, president of ARA. "We are thrilled to be part of this groundswell of excitement over the power of sportsmanship. As the only national award that recognizes an athlete's character and leadership as it translates to sportsmanship, the ARA Sportsmanship Award was created six years ago to shed light on these positive traits."
To qualify for the award, an athlete must be a starting player or significant contributor on his team; be in good academic standing; demonstrate great respect for competitors, school, teammates and coaches; show an ability to accept victory and defeat graciously; convey a high degree of humility and integrity; and demonstrate commitment in the classroom and to the community.