Hope College’s Grant Neil is one of 10 men’s college basketball student-athletes chosen to the 2014 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches Good Works Team®.
The program, in its second year, recognizes men’s and women’s basketball players who have made a commitment to improving their communities and the lives of others. Ten’s women’s players across the country also were recognized.
“We are very proud of Grant receiving this award,” said Tim Schoonveld, co-athletic director at Hope College. “It is a testament not only to Grant but to all of our coaches and athletes who are using the gifts that God has given them to make an impact on our community and world.”
Grant Neil, son of Hope College men’s basketball coach Matt Neil, follows former teammate Colton Overway as a Good Works Team® member. Overway was chosen in 2013.
“Our basketball program is honored that one of our players has been recognized by the Allstate Insurance Company as a Good Works Team member for the second consecutive year,” Matt Neil said. “Grant’s involvement with several different volunteering venues is indicative of what our team mission statement says: we want to give back to others.”
Members of the Allstate NABC Good Works Team® will be invited by Allstate, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, to the 2014 NABC Convention and 2014 NCAA Men’s Final Four® in North Texas, where they will participate in a community service project.
The recognition means a lot, Grant Neil said.
“This is something I really wanted to get it because it’s something about character, it’s something about what you are about,” Grant Neil said. “Hope is all about academic excellence and being successful on the court. Hope is also about transformational experiences. Coming in as a freshman, I’m a lot different now. I give a lot of credit to Hope for that.”
Grant Neil is pursuing a degree in business management at Hope College. The West Ottawa High School graduate is a starting forward on the Flying Dutchmen basketball team, which is in first place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
In December, Grant Neil was chosen a Men’s Soccer NCAA Division III Second-Team All-American in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire program.
Off the court, Grant Neil volunteers at Community Reformed Church in Zeeland to watch four- and five-year-olds. He also helps tutor at Holland Heights School once a week. Every summer, he works at Camp Sunshine, which serves people ages 12 to 50 who have developmental disabilities.
“Even though Grant devotes endless hours to train for two sports, he makes time to participate and serve this community,” Matt Neil said. “Student athletes have rich experiences because of the sacrifices of many, and it is crucial for student-athletes to give back to that community in order to complete the entire process.
“At Hope, our desire is to blend on-field excellence with off-field transformational experiences. Grant has taken this to heart and lived it out. As his father, I am humbled. As his coach, I am honored. He has taken our mission seriously. Our athletes appreciate the support they receive and find reward in providing support and encouragement to others in return.”
The Allstate NABC and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Teams® are each comprised of 10 student-athletes: five from the NCAA® Division I, and five combined from NCAA Divisions II, III and the NAIA.
A total of 117 NABC nominees and 84 WBCA nominees were submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their colleges and universities. The final team rosters were chosen by prestigious voting panels comprised of former coaches, student-athletes and media members.
Former Duke University student-athlete, two-time NCAA champion and seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill headlines the Allstate NABC Good Works Team® voting panel.
“The 10 young men selected to the 2014 NABC Good Works Team® amplify the significant contributions of all of the men’s basketball student-athletes across America,” said Jim Haney, NABC Executive Director. “We are proud to partner with Allstate to celebrate them as outstanding role models and for the positive impact they have made in their communities, the nation and the world.”