Anna Key Wins Wooden Cup
Jan. 25, 2007
ATLANTA, Ga. - California senior women's soccer player Anna Key was awarded the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup at a banquet tonight at the Ansley Golf Club. The third annual award is presented to one intercollegiate athlete and one professional athlete who best display character, teamwork, and citizenship, the attributes that Athletes for a Better World deems central to transforming individuals, sport and society.
Key edged five other finalists for the award. The Cup was handed out after the roughly 200 attendees watched a video of each athlete and heard speeches from all six.
'I was totally unprepared,' Key said. 'I was really shocked. I just stopped being nervous from my speech. I was pretty shocked.'
Key attended the banquet with Cal head coach Kevin Boyd, her parents, Dutch and Jeff Key, and her aunt and uncle, Ann and Pip Zuckerman.
'We couldn't be prouder of Anna,' Boyd said. 'She represented herself, her family the women's soccer program and the University of California. She was eloquent. From her speech and her video, it was clear she was the driving force for trying to make things better for Malawi.'
The Coach Wooden Cup, which is selected by the organization Athletes for a Better World, establishes the recipients as athletes of excellence both on and off the field, role models both as performers and persons - the most important and distinctive honor athletes can achieve. John Wooden, the legendary UCLA men's basketball coach and a positive role model, has given the ABW permission to present an award in his name.
Key, who completed her eligibility last fall as a goalkeeper on the Golden Bears' nationally-ranked women's soccer team, was named the 2006 NCAA Division I Female Sportsmanship Award winner by the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct (CSEC). The Oakland product was also chosen as the co-recipient of the 2005-06 Pac-10 Sportsmanship Award.
Key earned the honors by being a positive influence on her teammates and for her philanthropic work to raise money for the impoverished country of Malawi in Africa. A peace and conflict studies major, Key traveled to Malawi in May 2005 to promote the importance of staying in school and playing sports. She also brought gear donations from the Cal men's and women's soccer teams. During her stay, she volunteered at an orphan care center which supports villages in Malawi, housing upwards of 900 children who have been orphaned by AIDS or poverty. Through her leadership, the Cal Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) is looking to raise funds for sports programs in Malawi.
Key also met with soccer officials and the women's national soccer team in Malawi to discuss ways to develop the struggling program and to deliver used Cal soccer uniforms and equipment.
The Bears senior admitted to feeling a little guilt for winning an award 'for doing something that seemed very natural, very normal to me. At the same time I appreciate there's an effort to appreciate this kind of work in athletics.'
The glass and metal bowl-shaped trophy will be shipped to Cal and will be housed at the University for the time being.
'The award is sort of recognition of the support system I've had in Cal athletics,' Key said. 'I want to keep it in Haas Pavilion for a while.'