The women's basketball team from the College of the Ozarks (Mo.) was honored this fall as the recipient of the NAIA-Citizenship Through Sports Alliance (CTSA) "All that's Right in Sport" Award, one of the National Sportsmanship Awards.
Produced annually in St. Louis by the St. Louis Sports Commission, the National Sportsmanship Awards honor extraordinary examples of class and character by athletes and coaches across the nation.
This year's NAIA recipient of the award, the Lady Bobcats raised more than $10,000 to benefit the Joplin High School girls basketball team, which lost all of its equipment and uniforms, along with its facility, in the devastating tornado May 22, 2011.
Less than six weeks after the tornado, the College of the Ozarks women's basketball team planned and held an alumni basketball game, "Rebound and Rebuild," along with a silent auction and kid's activities. Nearly 25 former Lady Bobcats participated in the game, and the funds helped the Joplin High girls basketball team begin their season last year with new uniforms and equipment. The College of the Ozarks is more than 100 miles away from Joplin, but the women's basketball team wanted to help however they could.
"This is what the College of the Ozarks is supposed to do — the servant leadership that the NAIA espouses," said Lady Bobcats coach George Wilson. "But it wasn't about us. It was about helping Joplin."