Hope College’s Ben Gardner is one of 257 nominees for the 2016 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Teams®.

In its fourth year, the Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® recognize players at all levels of NCAA and NAIA basketball who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement. From establishing nonprofits that provide youth with the necessary tools to become leaders of tomorrow, to raising awareness around pertinent issues that could save lives, these student-athletes exhibit leadership skills both on and off the court. 

Gardner is an accomplished student-athlete who is studying public accounting. He has made the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Honor Roll three times. He earned All-MIAA Second Team recognition as a junior last season. 

Gardner co-founded the Jesse G. Clothing line that is sending a portion of the proceeds toward youth in Ethiopia. 

Gardner, a senior guard from Carmel, Indiana (Carmel HS), was an easy nomination to make, Hope men’s basketball coach Greg Mitchell said. 

“I can’t think of a more deserving example of what Division III athletics is about, someone who is going above beyond what the typical student-athlete does,” Mitchell said. “He’s a tremendous representative of Hope College and Hope College basketball. I’m humbled by his contributions and how he’s a living example of who you aspire to have your players be.” 

Two Hope men’s basketball players previously have been named to Allstate Good Works Teams®: Grant Neil in 2012 and Colton Overway in 2013. 

The 154 NABC nominees and the 103 WBCA nominees were submitted by sports information directors and college basketball coaches across the country. From the nominations, 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 Divisions II, III and the NAIA. 

The final roster of 20 award recipients will be unveiled in February. 

Members of the 2016 NABC Good Works Team® will be invited by Allstate, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, to the 2016 NABC Convention and 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four® in Houston, where they will participate in a community service project benefitting the city. 

Members of the Allstate 2016 WBCA Good Works Team® will be recognized during the 2016 WBCA Convention and at the 2016 NCAA Women’s Final Four® in Indianapolis, and will also participate in a local volunteer project. Allstate is an official corporate partner of the NABC, WBCA and NCAA. 

“The 2016 Allstate NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® nominees are truly inspirational and their stories of service are a great example of the impact young people can make by dedicating their time and energy to do good,” said Thomas Clarkson, president of the west territory for Allstate Insurance Company and a member of the 2016 NABC and WBCA Good Works Teams® selection panels. “For the fourth year, Allstate is honored to join the NABC and WBCA to recognize these student-athletes for their leadership off the court to help make a difference.”