As March Madness is in full swing for college basketball fans, a Christian sports ministry is set to honor a coach for his high level of moral character, integrity, and faith – on and off the court.
A tradition for 23 years now, Athletes in Action hosts the "Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast" during the Men's Final Four weekend. The Coach John Wooden "Keys to Life" Award will also be presented, and event director Megan Soderberg says this year's honor will go to University of Michigan head coach John Beilein (pictured) on April 6.
"We like to highlight what's good in sports," she shares, "so guys like John Beilein really exemplify the characteristics of John Wooden, the legendary coach from UCLA, for whom our award has been named."
Soderberg explains how Beilein, now in his 12th year as head coach of the Wolverines, was selected for the Wooden award.
"The recipients of this award are people who are voted on by their peers – other coaches – for representing what Coach Wooden represented … character, leadership, integrity in sports," Soderberg explains.
"And it's just so important when most of what we hear about in sports these days, especially college basketball, is related to scandals and cheating and so on."
Beilein gives his time to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Inc., C.S. Motta Children's Hospital, and the St. Louis Center – a facility that helps the emotional and spiritual needs of adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Michigan Wolverines have advanced to the Sweet 16 in this year's NCAA men's college basketball tournament. They take on Texas Tech on Thursday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.