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Coach K Receives Humanitarian Award

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, the winningest coach in NCAA men’s basketball history, will be honored at the second annual Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Awards Banquet in Oklahoma City April 16 as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

Krzyzewski, who has spent more than three decades as the head coach at Duke and led his team to four national championships and 11 trips to the Final Four, will be honored the same night the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will be presented in an event at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The awards dinner is presented by Devon and hosted by the Oklahoma City Downtown Club.

The Humanitarian Award honors an individual involved in college basketball who has made a significantly positive impact on society. Legendary ESPN and hall of fame announcer Dick Vitale received the inaugural award last year. The award’s namesake, Wayman Tisdale, died in May 2009 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Krzyzewski is also the coach of the United States men’s national basketball team, whom he led to a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2010 FIBA World Championships. He was an assistant coach on the 1992 “Dream Team.”

On November 15, 2011 Krzyzewski led Duke to a 74-69 victory over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden to become the coach with the most wins in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history. Krzyzewski ‘s 903rd victory surpassed the previous record of 902 held by his former coach, Bobby Knight. Just last month, Coach K was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.

“This has been a landmark year for Coach K and having him as our recipient this year seems most appropriate,” says Drew Shields, 2012 chairman of the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award Advisory Board. “He is one of the few people in college basketball to have accomplished as much off the court as he has on.”

Coach K’s charitable activities have included the establishment and funding of the Emily Krzyzewski Center, a community center in Durham named after his mother. The Center’s mission is to inspire economically disadvantaged students to dream big, act with character and purpose, strive for academic excellence, and reach their highest potential as future citizen leaders. In addition, he has been active in raising funds and supporting Duke Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Miracle Network, and the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Krzyzewski will share the stage in April with the NCAA college basketball’s outstanding Wayman Tisdale Freshman Player of the Year as selected by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). That selection will be announced at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans at the USBWA Champions Breakfast. The player and his coach are then expected to be in Oklahoma City April 16 for the awards dinner where the recipient will receive the crystal sculpture designed in the likeness of Wayman Tisdale.

The Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award and the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award are presented by Devon while produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to supporting various charitable causes, including funding prosthetic devices for needy individuals through the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation, educational scholarships through the United States Basketball Writers Associations, and funding of youth basketball programs throughout the state of Oklahoma through the Wayman’s Lightning Basketball League.

Tables and sponsorship information are available for the April 16 event at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum at the Tisdale Award website, www.access-sports.net, or by calling Scott Hill at 405-640-0406 or via e-mail at scott.hill@access-sports.net .

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