Columbus, OH

Women’s Basketball: Former Ohio State player Kelsey Mitchell receives WNBA Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award Monday

The Lantern
Former Ohio State women’s basketball player and current Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell earns Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award. Credit: Alyssia Graves | Former Assistant Sports Director

Former Buckeye, Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell received the 2023 WNBA Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award, the WNBA announced Monday, making her the first Ohio State player to earn the honor.

The award, named after Staley — a three-time women’s basketball Olympic gold medalist with Team USA and 2012 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee — is given to players who make positive impacts within their community.

Since being selected second overall in the 2018 WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever, the Cincinnati native, Mitchell, brought her dedication for her community with her. She founded the Kelz Hoop Foundation with the goal of “encouraging and supporting student-athletes with limited opportunities in their pursuit of playing competitive sports,” according to the website .

Each year, according to the Kelz Hoop Foundation’s website , it hosts a series of youth basketball camps, including one for beginners and a more advanced option.

Mitchell has also given back through various volunteer events, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods Shop with a Pro, the BIG Toy Giveaway, the Million Meal Marathon, and she’s even traveled to local high schools and spoken on the impact sports had on her, according to a press release.

“The WNBA is extremely proud to see [Mitchell] recognized for her volunteer work and community impact,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a press release. “[Mitchell’s] work with young people and families in her community continues to make an enormous positive influence, and she echoes the example set by Dawn Staley as a role model in sports. Along with her fellow WNBA players, [Mitchell] is dedicated to making the world a better place for the next generation.”

This award might have been written in the stars as the former Buckeye (2014-2018) was a Dawn Staley and Nancy Lieberman Award finalist all four years in college, as well as a Naismith Award Semifinalist and Finalist, which is awarded to the most impressive college basketball players for their on-court success.

For receiving the Community Leadership Award, the WNBA will make a $10,000 donation to Mitchell’s Kelz Hoop Foundation in her name, according to a press release.

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 0

Published by

The Lantern is the independent, award-winning student voice of Ohio State, covering sports, campus, politics, and arts and life.

Columbus, OH

More from The Lantern

Comments / 0