WBCA 2017 Allstate Good Works Team

WBCA 2017 Allstate Good Works Team

Story provided by Taylor Hodge, Ave Maria (Fla.) Sports Information Director

INDIANAPOLIS – Feb. 7, 2017 – Ave Maria (Fla.) women’s basketball sophomore Katie Ringdahl is one of 20 student-athletes named to the 2017 Allstate WBCA and NABC Good Works Teams® announced today by Allstate Insurance Company, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Ringdahl, a native of Gainesville, Fla., leads the Young Life program at Immokalee High School and is the only volunteer in the school and ministers to 1,300 high school students. Ringdahl is also an integral part of ReRun Sneakers, a non-profit organization started in Gainesville in 2012. Their mission is to give used sneakers to children and adults who are less fortunate.

She was named the Sun Conference's Champion of Character award winner for the sport of women's basketball as a freshman last season.

Since the awards inception in 2012-13, Ave Maria has placed two on the list with women’s basketball’s Emily Huber being named to the list in its inaugural year.

While exceptional student-athletes are often rewarded for their competitive achievements, this award shines a light on 20 young men and women for the things they accomplish off the court. From contributing to those affected by the Flint water crisis to visiting Nigeria to educate girls about how to succeed on and off the basketball court, this year’s teams made a positive, lasting impact.

The Allstate WBCA and NABC Good Works Teams® are each comprised of 10 student-athletes – five from NCAA® Division I, and five from NCAA Divisions II, III and the NAIA. This year, sports information directors and coaches at colleges and universities across the country submitted a record 278 nominations, and in December 2016, 97 nominees from the WBCA and 181 nominees from the NABC were announced.

The nominees were narrowed down to the final 20 players by voting panels led by former Notre Dame star, three-time NCAA All-American and two-time WNBA All-Star Skylar Diggins of the Dallas Wings and former Duke University guard, two-time NCAA champion and seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill. Both Diggins and Hill are making positive contributions that extend far beyond the basketball court, dedicating their time to various philanthropic initiatives, including teaching youth the importance of nutrition and physical activity. Each panel is comprised of a select group of former and current college basketball coaches and players as well as various members of the media.

“Allstate is thrilled to be joining the NABC and WBCA for a fifth consecutive year to highlight the remarkable displays of character demonstrated by student-athletes around the country,” said Thomas Clarkson, president of the west territory for Allstate Insurance Company and a member of the 2017 NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® selection panels. “We are proud to be a part of a program that places such high value on altruism and community service, both of which are intrinsic to Allstate’s mission.”

In addition to dedicating countless hours to their studies and athletics, the members of this year’s team have spent their limited free time bettering communities all over the world and demonstrating a strong commitment to improving the lives of others.

“The WBCA is proud of the 10 young women and 10 young men selected to this year’s Allstate Good Works Teams from the 278 student-athletes who were nominated for the honor,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle M. Donehew. “We are inspired by their commitment and dedication to serving others. And we are most grateful to Allstate for sponsoring this wonderful program through which we all can recognize our young leaders and celebrate their lasting contributions of love, kindness, and hope.”

Since 2013, members of the Allstate WBCA and NABC Good Works Teams® have given back to the host cities of the NCAA® Final Fours® through a community service initiative and monetary donation.

This year, the members of the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team® will be recognized during the 2017 WBCA Convention and at the 2017 NCAA Women’s Final Four® in Dallas, and will also participate in a local community project in Dallas community. Additionally, members of the Allstate NABC Good Works Team® will be invited by Allstate to be recognized at the 2017 NABC Convention and 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four® and will participate in a community service project to benefit Phoenix. Allstate is an official corporate partner of the WBCA, NABC and NCAA.

“For five years, the Allstate Good Works Team program has showcased men’s and women’s basketball collegiate athletes for their extraordinary benevolent actions performed away from the court,” said Jim Haney, NABC executive director. “We applaud the group of 20 selected for this year’s teams whose humanitarian efforts have helped raise the human spirit locally, nationally and globally.”

The following student-athletes have been named to the 2017 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team®:

NCAA Divisions II, III & NAIA      
Name Class Pos. School Hometown
Holly Denfield Sr. F Milwaukee School of Engineering Edgar, Wis.
Haley Joly Jr. F St. Edwards University Fremont, Calif.
Katie Ringdahl So. F Ave Maria University Gainesville, Fla.
Grace Smith Sr. G Kalamazoo College Portage, Mich.
Raquel Torres Sr. G Metropolitan State University of Denver Vallejo, Calif.

NCAA Division I      
Name Class Pos. School Hometown
Ivy Atkism Jr. P Clemson University Monroe, Ga.
Angie Davison Sr. G University of Northern Iowa Maple Grove, Minn.
Britta Hall So. G Utah Valley University Tualatin, Ore.
Michaela Rasmussen Jr. F University of Toledo Chaska, Minn.
Sandra Udobi Sr. G Metropolitan State University of Denver Vallejo, Calif.