Hobart College senior Ryan Adler was recently selected as one of five finalists for the Coach Wooden Citizen Cup. The award is given out annually, by Athletes for a Better World, to the most outstanding role model among athletes.
Adler is the only Division III student-athlete on the list of 16 semifinalists and five finalists. Adler is joined by Division I counterparts Andrew Barry (Harvard, football), Lauren Mioton (Purdue, basketball), Tim Tebow (Florida, football), and Rob Whiting (Vanderbilt, cross country).
Named in honor of John Wooden, one of the most successful and admired coaches in collegiate history, the Wooden Cup is given to athletes who embody Wooden’s legacy as a person of integrity, high moral character, compassion, and civic-mindedness. The honor is given to a collegiate and professional athlete each year, chosen by a committee of distinguished individuals involved in athletics across the country.
A defenseman on the Statesmen hockey team, Adler founded Hockey Helpers as a way for the Hobart hockey team and other collegiate teams to give back to the community through various service projects. He went on to partner Hockey Helpers with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a non-profit organization that exists to provide comfort and support to the new generation of severely injured service members upon their return home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas around the world.
Adler has spearheaded many projects to help raise funds and awareness for the WWP. These include coordinating a golf outing and auction, designing and selling merchandise (sweatshirts, hats, etc.), and designing camouflage uniforms that he and his teammates wore in a home game last winter, which along with an auction, raised approximately $6,000 for the WWP. Adler has since partnered with professional teams in the area, such as the Rochester Americans and Knighthawks, and Syracuse Chiefs, to wear the camouflage uniforms, and has also been in contact with other schools to help them get connected with the WWP. For more information on what Adler and the Hockey Helpers are doing, visit Hockeyhelpers.org.
The finalists will all be honored at a ceremony at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., on Jan. 14, 2009. Athletes for a Better World is a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports.