ATLANTA-Georgia State men’s basketball coach Ron Hunter will receive the
Community Spirit Award at the Atlanta Sports Awards on March 5. The annual
awards dinner hosted by the Atlanta Sports Council recognizes the best
professional and collegiate athletes and coaches in the state of Georgia.
The Community Spirit Award is given to “an individual
who has made a positive impact on the sports world and within his or her
community throughout their respective career.”
Hunter will accept the honor at the annual awards gala on Tuesday,
March 5, 2013, beginning at 5:30 p.m.in the historic Fox Theatre’s Egyptian
“Coach Ron Hunter continues to touch so many lives in positive
ways while developing and shaping the lives of his student-athletes at Georgia
State University,” said Dan Corso, Atlanta Sports Council executive director.
“He is a true leader, and we are very proud to present him with this new
The Community Spirit Award, formerly known as the Sports Person of
the Year, is given to an individual who has made a positive impact on the
sports world and within his or her community throughout their respective
Hunter is known throughout the coaching world
for his work with Samaritan’s Feet,
an organization that distributes shoes to underprivileged children around the
world, dedicating his time and energy to help provide shoes for 10 million
children in 10 years. He has coached one game in his bare feet each season
since 2008 to raise awareness for Samaritan’s Feet.
In five years
since coaching his first barefoot game on Jan. 24, 2008 while the head coach at
IUPUI, Hunter’s efforts have helped Samaritan’s Feet distribute more than two
million pairs of shows. He hosted his first Samaritan’s Feet game at Georgia
State on Jan. 12, 2012 before a season-high crowd of 2,698.
with the 2012 Samaritan’s Feet game, Hunter and GSU student-athletes observed
the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Jan. 16, 2012 by conducting an outreach
program at the Blank Family YMCA, and more than 200 local children in need
received new shoes and socks.
Hunter took his
team to South Africa this past August to distribute shoes and good will to
impoverished children during the squads’ 10-day trip. He has previously made
trips to Africa and South America with the organization.
“I am honored to
receive such a prestigious award from the Atlanta Sports Council,” commented
Ron Hunter. “I have always felt that it is important in our field to try to
have an impact on the lives of others who are less fortunate than us. I would
like to thank the Georgia State community, fans and alums for helping to
support the causes that are near and dear to my heart.”
In his first year
at the helm of the Panthers, Hunter led Georgia State to a 22-12 record, the
second most wins in school history and a berth in the CollegeInsider.com
Postseason Tournament, just the school’s fourth postseason bid.
He was named the
2012 Georgia Division I Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club/Naismith
Awards program following the season and followed it by signing the most
highly-regarded signing class in GSU history in the offseason.
Hunter put an
exclamation point on 2012 by earning his 300th career victory in
Georgia State’s win over Liberty on Dec. 2nd.
He will close out the 2012-13 season at this
year’s NCAA Final Four in Atlanta, hosting a gala in support of Samaritan’s
Feet on Friday, April 5 with his wife Amy.
The Atlanta Sports Council created the Atlanta Sports Awards to
honor the most accomplished athletes, coaches and teams from all levels of
competition. This event allows the community of Atlanta to honor outstanding
athletic feats on a yearly basis.
Award categories include:
• Coach of the Year presented by The Home Depot
• Community Spirit Award presented by Georgia Power, A Southern
• Collegiate Athlete of the Year presented by AT&T
• High School Scholar Athletes of the Year presented by Georgia
Best Chevy Dealers
• High School Athlete of the Year
• Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Coca-Cola
• Professional Athlete of the Year presented by SunTrust Sports
• Team of the Year presented by PrimeSport
ABOUT THE ATLANTA SPORTS AWARDS
Created in 2006 by the Atlanta Sports Council, the Atlanta Sports
Awards has become a way to rally the Atlanta sports community to recognize
athletic excellence on a yearly basis. The Atlanta Sports Awards honors those
who distinguish themselves from among the five million people living in
Atlanta. That includes all professional sports teams, universities, junior
colleges and more than 250 public and private high schools in Atlanta. For more
information, visit www.AtlantaSportsAwards.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA SPORTS COUNCIL
The Atlanta Sports Council promotes the value of sports growth in
Atlanta and Georgia by acting as an authority on the economic impact,
visibility and quality of life issues associated with sports. Its mission is to
lead, organize and support sports development. The Atlanta Sports Council was
created in 1985 under the original name of Sports 2000, and is a division of
Chamber. For more information, visit www.AtlantaSportsCouncil.com.