April 13, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University basketball player Niki Castle has been selected from among 850 nominated student-athletes to participate in the 1999 NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference to be held May 31- June 4 at Disney's Wide World of Sports and Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Castle, a redshirt sophomore from San Diego, Calif. and two-year varsity letterwinner, is one of 300 student-athletes who will take part in the third annual conference. The 5-8 Cougar guard is the WSU women's basketball representative for Team CARE, a peer mentoring program.
The mission of the NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference is, through challenging and thought provoking dialogue and activities, to prepare a diverse group of student-athletes to take an active leadership role on their campuses and in their communities. It will provide NCAA student-athletes with the opportunity to discuss and explore critical issues facing their peers; to enhance their leadership skills; and to promote better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities.
Participants will engage in a variety of developmental activities designed to enhance their communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills. As a result of participation, student-athletes will build a long-lasting network of future leaders, be better able to address issues that are critical to student-athletes on campus and complete a self-directed project to address a critical issue facing the campus.
Castle, an English and pre-law major, was a recipient of the first WSU PROWL Leadership award for the 1996-97 school year and was named the African American Association Outstanding Athlete in 1997-98. She has worked with the Big Sister program, has been a certified instructor through the American Red Cross since 1993 on the topic of Teens Responding to Aids, and has taught the Sexual Choices seminar for the PROWL Life Skills class at WSU for the last three years.
On the basketball court, Castle's WSU career has been plagued by injuries and this season she played in nine games before having her gall bladder removed in mid-February. She set career marks for points and rebounds during the 1998-99 season.
Student-athletes were nominated from NCAA member institutions that participate in the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program. Other WSU student-athletes nominated were junior rower Dina de Nys, sophomore football player Serign Marong and freshman baseball player Tyson Thompson. Past Cougar athletes that have participated in the NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference have been Doreen Evans, Steve Gleason, Molly Moore and Eboni Wilson.