Birmingham, Ala. - In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for men's basketball for the 2016-17 season.
This marks the 19th year for the SEC Community Service Team for men's basketball as well as for women's basketball. All 21 league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men's and women's sports being chosen from 1999-2003. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.
Corban Collins, Guard, Alabama
Corban Collins has already made an impact in his short time in the Tuscaloosa community. During his limited spare time, the High Point, N.C., native has volunteered to help locally at food shelters, spending time to help the less fortunate. He has also become a regular with local elementary schools, where he has read to the children and talked about the importance of education. Just recently, Collins spent time at a local hospital visiting with cancer patients
Moses Kingsley, Forward, Arkansas
Organized fundraising events aimed at students and local community members ... played in the Hog Star Softball Game to benefit the Full Circle Food Pantry ... visited children's hospital in Little Rock every season at Arkansas ... participated in the Baton Rouge Relief Operation to help flood victims ... was a part of the Boys & Girls Club Backpack and School Supply Giveaway ... participated in Book Hogs program to provide children's books to elementary schools ... played in the University recreation wheelchair basketball exhibition ... worked the Yvonne Richardson Center Christmas ham giveaway ... participated in the Family Fun Day at Mayflower High School to benefit Tornado victims ... Samaritan's Feet initiative to provide shoes to underprivileged children ... MLK Youth Activity Day.
Mustapha Heron, Guard, Auburn
Created the Mustapha Heron Skills Academy and Reading Program for students at his high school, Sacred Heart High School, and students in the surrounding counties. His foundation teaches students the importance of balancing academics and sports and rewards students who read a certain number of books with incentives like shoes and bags. Obtained sponsorship from shoe companies, Under Armour and Adidas to assist with his efforts. Additionally, he has worked with the Police Department in his hometown on a weapons buy-back program. Heron and his AAU Team wore orange emblems to make a statement against gun violence. He is involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and donates to the Toys for Tots Holiday Program through Auburn University's SAAC Program.
Chris Chiozza, Guard, Florida
An active participant in Goodwill Gators, both in athletic department-wide and team-wide activities, volunteering at events like UF's Climb for Cancer, a Thanksgiving food drive, packing books and school supplies for underprivileged children, local hospital and women's shelter visits. He has also volunteered as a mentor at a local elementary school. Chiozza has demonstrated a knack for engaging with people and using his unique position as a Florida basketball player to make a positive difference in the community.
Yante Maten, Forward, Georgia
Yante Maten is a two-time nominee for the Allstate NABC Good Works team honoring the nation's most active players in local communities; Served as "celebrity guest" at pep rallies at Athens/Clarke County elementary schools as students prepared for state-wide "CRCT" curriculum tests; Spoke to students at Alps Road Elementary School about the value of education, maintaining a positive attitude and good work ethic; Visited Camp Twin Lakes, a summer facility for children whose lives have been affected by cancer; Recognized for taking part in a group determined to clean up graffiti in Pontiac, Mich., his hometown; Assisted with shopping to provide Christmas presents for a member of the Athens Boys & Girls Club; Volunteers annually "Do It For Broph 5K Run/Walk" held in honor of deceased former Bulldog Kevin Brophy; Helped with staging of the annual AthHalf, Athens' half marathon; member of SEC Community Service team for second straight year.
Derek Willis, Forward, Kentucky
Has been one of UK's leaders in the community since arriving to campus in 2013-14 ... A regular visitor at UK Hospital, where he befriended Zack, a Progeria (a progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly) patient ... Has spent an extraordinary amount of time with Zack at the hospital, at Progeria events, at games and more ... Delivered gifts, served dinner and sang Christmas carols to families in the Lexington community every holiday season in his four years at Kentucky ... Annual participant in UK's Back Pack Program with God's Pantry to help pack and distribute lunches to students across the county ... During the God's Pantry delivery over the years, has played kickball and other activities with the students ... Served Thanksgiving lunch at the Salvation Army ... Volunteered at the Alonzo Mourning basketball camp last season to work with underprivileged youth ... Past participant in the UK Athletics Blanket project, where student-athletes made blankets for children's hospital patients ... Visited children in an Indianapolis hospital during the 2015 Final Four ... During the Wildcats' trip to the Bahamas in 2014, Willis and his teammates teamed up with Samaritan's Feet to provide shoes, essential supplies and hope for Bahamian children.
Brandon Sampson, Guard, LSU
Was involved in projects around Baton Rouge regarding the flood relief in the Baton Rouge area ... Also one of the LSU players involved in the annual campus move-in day when athletes and staff at LSU help unload cars for families and freshman as they arrive for the first time at their dorms ... Also involved in the Halloween Boo-Zar when athletic teams put together a safe Halloween alternative for neighborhood kids ... Also Thanksgiving and Christmas with the Tigers, along with the basketball team's much publicized annual visit to sing Christmas carols to children at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital ... He has assisted in the Cenikor Foundation in Baton Rouge which is committed to helping people with substance abuse and behavioral health issues.
Sebastian Saiz, Forward, Ole Miss
An active participant in a variety of community service projects in the Oxford area ... A regular visitor to the Oxford Boy's and Girl's Club to help mentor local youth ... Helped organized basketball clinic for local Boy's and Girl's Club ... Participated in 'Move Mississippi' to combat child obesity by educating youth and parents about the benefits of physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle ... Participated in `Reading with the Rebels' program, which sends Ole Miss student-athlete to area schools to read to children and promote literacy several times throughout the year ... Assisted relief efforts in aftermath of a fire at Batesville (Miss.) Elementary School ... Helped organize a canned food drive to benefit local tornado victims in Mississippi ... Volunteered at 'More Than A Meal' which provides area children food, encouragement and a sense of community.
I.J. Ready, Guard, Mississippi State
In addition to being Mississippi State's only senior, I.J. Ready spends 20-plus hours each semester doing community service. During the Christmas Holidays, he was a member o the Chick-Fil-A Day Red Kettle Campaign after serving on MSU's Maroon Madness promotion campaign. When free, he also visits the Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital. He also takes part in Reading Raildroad, a program that reaches out to locals schools n the Starkville area. On campus, he also volunteers for the TK Martin Fun Run and Family Night
Terrence Phillips, Guard, Missouri
Terrence Phillips has volunteered at local elementary schools, spending time at day carnivals for Paxton Keeley and Shepard Boulevard schools in Columbia, Mo. He also participates in local reading program for area youth programs and elementary schools. Assisted at Mizzou Basketball events throughout sophomore season, including "Hoops For a Cause", which annually benefits Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia, Mo. Phillips is a frequent Children's Hospital visitor and helped instruct participants in first-annual Douglass Park Youth Clinic during fall of 2016.
PJ Dozier, Guard, South Carolina
PJ Dozier has been very active in community outreach events during his two seasons at South Carolina. During his sophomore campaign, he has spent time at an area elementary school speaking to fourth and fifth graders and participating in a kick ball game ... He has spent time with Special Olympics, helping to officiate and with scorekeeping at the Special Olympics State Tournament ... He hosted a Q and A session and spoke to students at WA Perry Middle School in Columbia, while he also attended a Christmas party for residents from Epworth Children's Home during the holiday season ... Dozier delivered meals to those in need with the Meals on Wheels program, while he also helped serve dinner at Transitions ... During the team's foreign tour in Costa Rica, PJ joined his teammates for two events for area children, including an event with Special Olympics in San Jose ... He also participated in the team's annual 8K In 8 Days campaign, doing multiple events around the Columbia community with the City of Columbia, at the Brookland Baptist Empowerment Center, Special Olympics and he also visited with Veterans at the Dorn VA Medical Hospital in Columbia ... Named to the 2015-16 SEC First Year Academic Honor Roll.
Admiral Schofield, Forward, Tennessee
Admiral Schofield has been a leader among UT student-athletes as it relates to community outreach efforts. Over the past year, he has taken part in several service projects, including the annual Hoops for Hope basketball event in west Knoxville that benefits the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee, UTAD's annual Voloween event and various outreach initiatives through Knoxville's Emerald Youth Foundation. Schofield's selection as a member of this year's prestigious VOLeaders Academy has enabled him to take part in numerous academy projects, including working with UT's visually impaired/blind enhanced services). His VOLeader status will keep him active in a variety of service projects lined up for this spring, highlighted by the group's service learning trip to Vietnam.
Tavario Miller, Forward, Texas A&M
Tavario Miller's four-year career in Aggieland has been marked by hard work and dedication on the hardwood, but, perhaps more importantly, by his service to the local community with efforts to uplift all of those around him ... He has served as the team's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative for each of the last two seasons ... Participated in Aggies Can, the nation's largest student-run food drive, all four years in school while also visiting local elementary schools to read to and encourage students to continue their education ... Volunteered at Still Creek Ranch, a Christian-based education center for boys and girls who come from crisis environment, by wrapping Christmas gifts as well as lending support to the students .... Also Volunteered at Boys and Girls Club basketball camps ... Made visits to Texas Children's Hospital to brighten the days of the patients there ... Assisted as Texas A&M men's basketball partnered with Autism Speaks to raise awareness for Autism research ... Scheduled to graduate May 2017, enter graduate school with aspirations of becoming a teacher/coach.
Luke Kornet, Center, Vanderbilt
Member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) and helped organize the department's annual Christmas party for elementary schools around Nashville. He also volunteers at the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and the Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital on the Vanderbilt campus. He has also volunteered at the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge in Nashville. Kornet is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and the CoSida Academic All-District Team.