Celebrating Giant Steps
The National Consortium for Academics and Sports hosted its 14th annual Giant Steps Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Tuesday night, October 11. Over 400 guests joined at the Orlando World Center Marriott as Bob Ley emceed the ceremony that recognized sports figures who have impacted greater society through their passion and commitment to effect social change.
Sandy Hattfield-Clubb accepted the Coach’s award on behalf of Chris Creighton, head football coach for Drake University. In May, he led his team to Tanzania to host the first ever American-style football game on the continent of Africa.
Two Courageous Student-Athlete awards were granted to Angelica Mealing, who has achieved excellence on and off of the basketball court in spite of a number of personal struggles, and Nate Winters, a graduate and starting pitcher for Winter Haven High School who lost his leg in a boating accident but returned to the game.
Dr. Wanda Wade, granddaughter of Dr. LeRoy Walker, accepted a Barrier Breaker award on his behalf for his lifetime of impact.
Olympic skier and former NFL player, Jeremy Bloom, received the Civic Leader award for his Wish of a Lifetime Foundation that assists seniors in fulfilling their bucket lists.
Finally, the NCAS inducted Nancy Hogshead-Makar into its Hall of Fame. Nancy, who was an Olympic swimmer, is a leading advocate of issues related to Title IX.
Sponsors for the evening included the NFL, the NBA, MLB, NASCAR, the Orlando Magic, the NCAA, Siemens Energy, Inc., Tavistock Foundation, Dr. Tom Winters, Disney Sports Attractions, Albertson International, Inc., UCF Athletics, Inc., UCF College of Business Administration, LarsonAllen, Village Inn Restaurants, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the UCF Foundation, and UCFTV.
The Giant Steps Awards Banquet occurs annually. Nominations for awards are submitted each spring and are announced on April 6, National Student-Athlete Day. For more information, go to ncas.evok.xyz or call the National Consortium for Academics and Sports National Office at (407)823-3555.