Jan. 14, 2014
BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland women's lacrosse All-American Marlee Paton was selected as a semifinalist for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given to one collegiate and one professional athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. Paton is the lone lacrosse player among the 36 collegiate student-athletes to be honored.
A senior from Seaholme, Australia, Paton has been a member of Loyola's starting lineup since coming to America. A two-time All-American and the 2012 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, Paton has been named to the All-BIG EAST Team and BIG EAST All-Tournament Team in each of her first three seasons, while the two-time team captain was a Tewaaraton Award Top-25 nominee as a sophomore and junior.
On an international level, Paton has played in two FIL World Cups for the Australian National Team. One of 10 returning players from the Australian team that won silver in Prague in 2009, the midfielder was twice named the Player of the Match in helping the Aussies capture the silver medal in Oshawa, Canada in 2013.
Off the field, Paton is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and the Loyola Leadership Academy, one of the nation's premier leadership development programs in collegiate athletics. She participates annually in the Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital, a Thanksgiving Food Drive, Adopt a Family and Presence for Christmas, in addition to being involved continuously with clinics and mentorships on both a national and international level.
Other semifinalists for the Wooden Citizenship Cup include Christian Bilkovic (Wayne State University, Baseball), Shayla Bivins (Georgia Tech, Basketball), Tera Bradham (University of Arkansas, Swimming), Whitney Canion (Baylor University, Softball ), Caroline Casey (University of Rhode Island, Volleyball), Hallie Christofferson (Iowa State University, Basketball), Chris Conley (University of Georgia, Football), Kastine Evans (University of Kentucky, Basketball), Danny Fisher (Bloomsbury University, Football), Alec Golini (Lafayette College, Soccer), Jakob Gollon (Mercer University, Basketball), Dave Harding (Duke University, Football), Gabe Ikard (University of Oklahoma, Football), Darius Johnson (Middle Tennessee State, Football), Collen Klein (Kansas State, Football), Shaun Lewis (Oklahoma State University, Football), J.J. Mann (Belmont University, Basketball), Jake Matthews (Texas A&M, Football), Courtney Moses (Purdue University, Basketball), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford University, Basketball), Rand (Wingate University, Golf), Josh Richardson (University of Tennessee, Basketball), Rachel Ross (Wittenberg University, Softball), D.T. Shackleford (University of Mississippi, Football), Chelsea Suitos (University of Arizona, Softball), Isabella Vidana (Lesley University, Soccer), Kelly Wallace (Northeastern University, Hockey), Asa Watson (North Carolina State, Football), Avery Williamson (University of Kentucky, Football) and Winston Wright (South Dakota University, Football).
The finalists for the award were also announced and include Aaron Craft (Ohio State University, Basketball), Kelly Dennis (Chestnut Hill College, Tennis), Dau Jok (University of Pennsylvania, Basketball), Jeffrey Rappucci (Holy Cross, Hockey) and Elizabeth Tucker (Notre Dame, Soccer).
The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is named in honor of John Wooden, a gentleman who embodied all of the characteristics of an athlete of excellence, during his distinguished career as basketball coach of UCLA. In his honor, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to two distinguished athletes, one professional and one collegiate, for their character and leadership both on and off the field and for their contributions to sport and society. The goal of ABW is to make the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup the most prestigious award in all of sports. It is unique because it is open to all athletes in all sports and is given to those who have made the greatest difference in the lives of others.
With Pat Summitt, Dikembe Mutombo, Mia Hamm, Peyton Manning, John Smoltz, John Lynch, Andrea Yaeger and Cal Ripken, Jr. as previous recipients, the Wooden Cup is becoming one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Recipients are considered role models and athletes of excellence both on and off the field.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all collegiate and professional sports. Nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports.