posted February 26, 2013

Hope Basketball Player Honored for Going Beyond the Game

Colton Overway and Camp Sunshine friend

Colton Overway will go into the Hope College record book as one of the school's alltime leaders for dishing out assists to his basketball teammates. That helping spirit goes way beyond any athletic endeavor as evidenced by the recognition he is receiving as a member of the inaugural Good Works Team announced today by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Allstate Insurance Company.

The award to just 20 male and female basketball players in all divisions of the NCAA and NAIA recognizes a group of student-athletes who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement.

"This award is truly a reflection of Colton's heart," said coach Matt Neil who nominated his senior co-captain for the honor. " I have witnessed his interactions with campers at Camp Sunshine, students at Special Ed Ministries,  along with his investment of time with the students our team tutors at Holland Heights elementary school.  This is a recognition of his willingness to serve others in order to change the world, one life at a time.  Our program emphasizes the need to "give back" and this honor for Colton is evidence of his commitment to this purpose."

Athletic departments submitted 161 nominations for deserving student-athletes. From the nominations, two voting panels selected the honorees. "The men and women being recognized with this award have demonstrated a commitment to excellence on and off the court," said Pam Hollander, senior director of marketing for Allstate Insurance Company.

Over the past three summers Overway worked with special needs individuals as a counselor at Camp Sunshine, located on the shores of Lake Michigan at Camp Blodgett. The camp is for teens and adults with various special needs, including developmental disabilities, physical impairments and Autism. Campers are paired one-to-one with  counselor.

"Colton has done a phenomenal job building relationships with and caring for his campers during such activities as daily routine, swimming, Bible lessons, arts and crafts, special actitivites and much more," said Douglas Ammeraal, volunteer coordinator at Camp Sunshine. and Colton's high school basketball coach. "Throughout the camp sessions I witnessed a compassionate, caring and knowledgeable young man who has a gift for working with the extra-special population."

A communication major at Hope, Colton is the son of Tim and Emily Overway of Holland. He is a graduate of West Ottawa High School.

With three weeks left in the season, Overway was sidelined with a broken foot. At the time he was among the conference leaders in assists and second on the team in scoring. As a tribute to his basketball ability, the coaches of the MIAA voted him to the all-conference second team. A three-year letterwinner, he ended in the top ten on the Hope career list for assists.

The NABC Good Works Team has been invited by Allstate, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, to the 2013 NABC convention and men's Final Four in Atlanta where they will participate in a community project in that city.