PHILADELPHIA – Senior Dau Jok has enjoyed an outstanding career at the University of Pennsylvania, both as a basketball player and in his life as a campus leader.
On Tuesday night in Atlanta, he was honored for the latter when he was named the collegiate winner of the Wooden Citizenship Cup, which has been presented annually for the last 10 years by the Athletes For A Better World organization (ABW).
From the ABW: “The Wooden Citizenship Cup is given each year to those athletes who have demonstrated the highest level of character and leadership on and off the field, and for their contributions to sport and society. This award is the highest award given in sports because it is open to all athletes in all sports, and because it is given not for athletic superiority, but for those athletes who achieve the highest standards of character, leadership and citizenship. Nominations are solicited from all colleges and universities from all divisions.”
Jok was one of five finalists for the award along with Ohio State men’s basketball player Aaron Craft; Chestnut Hill College women’s tennis player Kelly Dennis; Holy Cross men’s hockey player Jeff Reppucci; and Notre Dame women’s soccer player Elizabeth Turner.
All five were in Atlanta for two days and enjoyed an outstanding visit that included a personal meeting with former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young; a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center; and a personal meeting with ABW’s professional Wooden Cup recipient for this year, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
All five student-athletes were honored during a dinner on Tuesday night at the Atlanta History Center, as each one was recognized with a video presentation before speaking to the crowd of about 350 people. Following the speeches, the chair of the Wooden Citizenship Cup Advisory Committee, former Georgia football coach and athletics director Vince Dooley, announced Jok as this year’s collegiate recipient.
Jok’s award comes on the heels of his being a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Allstate Good Works Team this year, in addition to being one of three recipients of the Most Courageous Award from the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). For both of those honors, Jok was invited to Dallas to participate in a number of activities during Final Four weekend.
Jok was originally born in the South Sudan. His father, a tribal leader, was killed when Dau was a young boy, and he fled with his mother and siblings to Uganda and eventually to Des Moines, iowa.
While at Penn, Jok has founded an organization named after his father, the Dut Jok Youth Foundation, to fight poverty and violence in his homeland. Among other things, he has raised and donated athletic equipment for youth in Africa, and he has also paid for two years of education for two Sudanese youths in Kenya.
A four-year member of the men’s basketball team at Penn, Jok was a captain each of the last two years. This season, he appeared in 26 games, making three starts, and averaged 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game. His best game came at Cornell, when he scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds in a win over the Big Red.
About Athletes For a Better World (ABW)
Athletes are our world’s most popular heroes, admired and often emulated by those who watch them. However, in recent years, the behavior of a growing number of athletes has damaged the image of sport and is negatively impacting the values and actions of coaches, parents, fans and young people who view extraordinary athletes as their role models.
ABW was founded by Fred Northup in 1998 to respond to this challenge. The mission of ABW is to use sports to develop character, teamwork and citizenship through commitment to an athletic Code For Living that applies to life and, by educating coaches, to create a movement that will play a significant in the transformation of individuals, sports and society.
ABW provides resources based on The Code to colleges, high schools, middle schools, club sports, Parks and Recreation Departments, Boys and Girls Clubs – to any coach or team in any sport. From the Tip of the Week to entire curricula, ABW has developed resources to support leaders and coaches who want to instill the right values in their young people. Through participation in the programs of ABW, members will understand the meaning and demonstrate the value of Winning More Than The Game.
About The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup
The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup was inaugurated in 2005 after Coach Wooden was so impressed with the mission of ABW that he gave permission to honor two athletes, one professional and one collegiate, in his name.
The cup itself is a unique amphora vessel of hand-blown glass from the Seattle Glassblowing Studio. Custom designed for ABW and the Wooden Cup by glass artists Cliff Goodman and Cyrena Stefano, this Cup was blown with the concepts of sportsmanship, integrity, community and elegance in mind. The rustic surface application, called scavo, mimics the appearance of traditional ceramic techniques used by the Ancient Greeks. Their form was inspired by the ancient amphora which were used by the victors in the Pan-Athenic Games to store the oil which they were awarded for winning.