ST. LOUIS—IUPUI coach Ron Hunter has been selected to receive the Good Guy Award from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for his efforts to bring attention to the plight of millions of children around the world who are in need of shoes.
Hunter will be honored at the USBWA's annual college basketball awards breakfast on Friday, April 2, at The Columbia Club during this year's NCAA Men's Final Four in Indianapolis.
At the breakfast, the USBWA will also present the Oscar Robertson Trophy to the national player of the year and the Henry Iba Award to the coach of the year.
Hunter began an association in 2008 with the Samaritan's Feet organization whose mission is to provide shoes to needy youth worldwide. Hunter gained national attention when he coached his IUPUI team that year in a game in bare feet.
College as well as some professional and high school coaches began to take up the cause and decided to go barefoot also in games during the season.
The result was that in two years, nearly one million pairs of shoes were donated to children across the globe. Hunter and his basketball team personally delivered shoes to youth in Peru in 2008, and they plan to travel to South Africa this May to deliver more shoes.
He hopes to deliver around 1,000 pairs of shoes to Indiana youth prior to the Final Four.
"Ron Hunter exemplifies everything that the Good Guy Award is all about," said USBWA President Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"As a coach, he reflects honor on the sport of college basketball for the contributions he is making to society. We are proud to honor his achievements."
Hunter has coached at IUPUI for 16 years and has over 250 career wins, the most in school history.
Previous Good Guy Award winners include Michigan State's Tom Izzo last year and retired coaches Gene Keady of Purdue and Tom Brennan of Vermont.
Tickets for the April 2 breakfast are available on-line at usbwa.com or by calling 317-456-2345.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-421-0339.