Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Brian Duncan named a Finalist for AAU's Sulivan Award

Honor presented annually to nation’s top amateur athlete, recognizes off-field community contributions

LUBBOCK, Texas - One could wonder by the appearance of Brian Duncan’s community service resume how the Texas Tech redshirt freshman linebacker has time for academics or football. Duncan has been recognized by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) as one of 11 finalists for its prestigious Sullivan Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete and heavily factors in community and leadership contributions.

AAU officials, U.S. Olympic Committee members and college sports information directors are among those who vote for the top amateur athlete. Fans can read bios on each finalist and cast their ballot at or on their mobile phones (text AAUVOTE1 to 44636 to vote for Duncan). The fan votes count one-third toward the final tally. Voting ends March 10 and the winner will be announced April 1.

Duncan, who carries a 3.15 grade point average in general business, has lent his time away from academics and football to leading, mentoring and assisting the youth in the Lubbock community. His list of community service projects is extensive and includes University Medical Center and Covenant Children’s Hospital visits, speaking at local elementary schools, conducting bible studies and speaking to various church youth groups.

The Big 12 Conference Fall Good Works Team member also participated on the NCAA Athletics Certification Self-Study Committee for Academic Integrity and currently serves as vice-president of the Texas Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Duncan spent what little spare time he had during Gator Bowl preparations rehearsing for his role in a Christmas musical at Trinity Church, where he is a Praise Team member and bible study participant.

Duncan lists his involvement as head coach of the Tubbs Elementary fourth-grade basketball team as one of his most cherished projects, citing “the difference we make in these children’s lives, seeing them excel in school and keeping them focused on what’s important is what working with kids is all about.”

In his latest venture, Duncan has teamed up with former Lady Raider basketball coach Marsha Sharp in the United Future Leaders program, aimed at working with students from local grade schools on their leadership skills, civility and ethical decision making.

Duncan was one of the team leaders in tackles during Texas Tech’s Gator Bowl run last season and was named to the Freshman All-America third team and Big 12 Conference All-Freshman squad. The Baton Rouge, La., native finished fifth on the team with 69 tackles and four tackles for loss.

Of the 11 Sullivan Award finalists, which include champions and world record holders in an array of sports, only Duncan and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow are collegiate football players. The other nine finalists include Jeff Lerg (Ice Hockey), Kristie Marano (Wrestling), Robert Pillow (Basketball), Brad Vering (Wrestling), Philippa Raschker (Track and Field), Angela Tincher (Softball), Jonathan Horton (Gymnastics), Thomas Finchum (Diving) and Jamie Lovemark (Golf).

Past winners of the award read like a who’s who of sport and include J.J. Reddick (2005), Michael Phelps (2003), Michelle Kwan (2001), Peyton Manning (1997), Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986), Edwin Moses (1983), Carl Lewis (1981), Bill Walton (1973) and Bill Bradley (1965). The first award was presented to golfer Robert Trent Jones in 1930.

Brian Duncan’s community involvement since arriving at Texas Tech in 2006:

· Student Athlete Advisory Committee ? Vice President
· Covenant Children’s Hospital Visits
· UMC Hospital Visits
· Carillon Retirement Home Visit (once)
· Red Raider Play Day ? assisted plan and host event for 300 elementary students, Spring 2007
· 2006 Insight Bowl ? Community Service Project participant
· Willow Bend elementary, Frenship ISD - mentor program (weekly, Spring 2007)
· Wheatley Elementary Honor Society, Lubbock ISD ? speaking engagement
· Tubbs Elementary, Lubbock ISD - Coached 4th grade basketball team
· Iles Elementary, Lubbock ISD - Pep Rally appearance/autographs
· Willow Bend Elementary, Frenship ISD - Read to students
· Shallowater Elementary, Shallowater ISD - autographs/speaking engagement with football team
· Post ISD speaking engagement ? leadership program
· Trinity Church ? Bible Study participant, Easter presentation participant, Praise Team member, “Christmas Shoes” play actor and vocalist
· First Christian Church speaking engagements with youth groups
· CASA Organization ? speaking engagement
· Christmas at Trinity Church Activity Center ? appearance and gift distribution to underprivileged kids
· Trinity Activity Center Church back-to-school event for underprivileged kids ? appearance/autographs
· Mentor for Boys and Girls Club (three weeks)
· Boys and Girl Club Visits
· Texas Tech University Museum ? speaking engagement, Christmas gift distribution and tour with elementary students
· First Baptist Church ? children’s Fun Day, speaking engagement
· Texas Tech Football Team - Conducts chapel sessions
· Participant in Texas Tech Diversity Leadership Conference
· Nominee to NCAA National Leadership Conference
· FCA member
· Student participant on NCAA Athletics Certification Self-Study Committee for Academic Integrity
· ACTS Bible Ministry ? Athletic Advisor
· Texas Tech University Gospel Choir vocalist
· Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast volunteer
· United Future Leaders program participant

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