The commitment to community service by the Seattle University basketball teams has once again been recognized, as redshirt junior Jarell Flora (Bremerton, Wash.) has been nominated for the 2014 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Good Works Team®, and senior Kacie Sowell (Ventura, Calif.) is a nominee for the 2014 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team®, announced Tuesday by the two coaches organizations.
Flora has volunteered for the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI) over the past two years as a daytime classroom teacher assistant and in the university’s after-school program at nearby Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. In his role as a classroom assistant, he helps struggling students complete homework assignments and build basic math and literacy skills. In the after-school program, Flora has participated in the Redhawk Scholars 4th & 5th grade literacy program, where he has helped students with writing structure and reading fluency.
In addition, Flora has spent time feeding the homeless population at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. In high school, he worked with the Youth Corps, and when his high school coach calls he still visits Bremerton High School to talk to students about his path to Seattle University and Division I basketball. Flora has also served as a summer program counselor with the local YMCA’s “YEAH” program, which serves 65 rising 6th graders in an intense academic prep program for middle school. He has served as a reading and writing coach, and along with his teammates, has hosted free basketball clinics at the end of each summer for all students enrolled in the summer program.
Sowell is a four-year member of the Seattle U Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), serving as the SAAC Holiday Food Drive Chair in the fall of 2013. She also gave time to sorting and distributing food for the Northwest Harvest Food Service food drive in 2011. In 2012, she served as a volunteer in chore/companion services, serving a senior citizen sponsored by Catholic Community Services. She has served as the Committee Chair for the SAAC Holiday Toy Drive all four holiday seasons she has been in school at Seattle U.
From 2010-13, Sowell has volunteered at the Rotary Boys & Girls Club, helping with All-Girls Gym events, as well as with tutoring and hanging out with kids. During the 2010-11 year, she helped with coaching as part of the Future Redhawk Program. With her team, Sowell spent time with and taught basketball skills to young schoolchildren at La Puebla de Heredia during the Redhawks’ foreign tour in Costa Rica in August 2013.
In its second year, the Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® honor players at all levels of college basketball who represent the sport’s finest in the areas of leadership and charitable achievements amongst their peers. The student-athletes nominated for this prestigious award embody the true spirit of teamwork and giving back.
From the 117 NABC nominees and 84 WBCA nominees, special voting panels will select two 10-member teams comprised of five student-athletes from the NCAA® Division I level and five student-athletes from NCAA® Divisions II, III and the NAIA. Former Duke University student-athlete, two-time NCAA champion and seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill will headline the Allstate NABC Good Works Team® voting panel, while WNBA basketball star Tamika Catchings, who played at the University of Tennessee, will serve on the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team® panel. The final roster of 20 award recipients will be unveiled in February.