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Pac-12 student-athletes to attend NCAA Leadership Forum

SAN FRANCISCO – Oregon men’s basketball student-athlete Casey Benson and Washington women’s gymnastics student-athlete Faith Morrison will participate in the NCAA’s annual Student-Athlete Leadership Forum, the Conference announced today. 

This year’s forum will be held April 9-12 in Orlando, Fla. and will feature a diverse and exceptional group of student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and faculty members. The goal of the forum is to develop leadership skills and gain a better understanding of the NCAA as a whole as well as the role of Student-Athlete Advisory Councils (SAACs) in governance.

Benson and Morrison applied for this opportunity and were selected from a very competitive pool of applicants by a committee of Pac-12 Conference staff. 

A native of Tempe, Ariz., Benson is a freshman on the Ducks’ men’s basketball team and was named the 2014 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year. He currently represents the men’s basketball team on Oregon’s SAAC and helps lead the team in community programs through the O Heroes program. 

“I will make sure that my contributions to the forum and the lessons I bring back are felt not only at the University of Oregon, but throughout the Pac-12,” Benson said. 

Morrison is a sophomore gymnast originally from Leesburg, Va. Part of the Honors Program at University of Washington as an English major and Political Science minor, she was recently named an honorable mention on the Pac-12 Gymnastics All-Academic Team. Morrison serves as a leader on Washington’s SAAC and as a Peer Advocate. 

 “I hope this experience helps me to further diversify my knowledge of what makes an effective leader and find creative ways to contribute to others’ experiences and perspectives,” said Morrison.

Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich applauded the leadership of these two student-athletes. “Casey and Faith are strong advocates for student-athlete welfare and we appreciate their enthusiasm as they learn more about NCAA and Conference governance process and develop their own leadership skills.”

The NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum has been in existence since 1997 and has been a life-changing experience for nearly 5,000 student-athletes. The forum helps student-athletes develop their professional networks and learn more about the relationship between their personal beliefs, core values, and behavioral styles.

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