Charlie Ward to be Honored during Final Four Weekend

During the NCAA Final Four weekend, Charlie Ward will be presented with the 2011 Keys to Life Award.

The 12-year NBA veteran, Heisman trophy winner and Major League Baseball draftee will be honored for his exemplary and exceptional moral character, integrity and faith during his career as one of the best all-around athletes in the past quarter century.

The award is being presented during the Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast, hosted by Athletes in Action and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Ward, who is currently the varsity football coach at Westbury Christian School in Houston, recently told the David Glenn show about his switch to football. "I didn't know God's plan for my life. I was just enjoying my day-to-day actives, whether it was football or basketball or school or whatever the case may be. God rewarded me for my commitment to my teammates. "

"There is no anxiety on either side, just trusting that God had a plan for my life," he said.

The Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast is in its 15th year. Saturday's event will also include interviews with NCAA Men's Basketball Division I coaches and players, and a forum on the Phi Slama Jama with former University of Houston players Clyde Drexler, Reid Gettys, Larry Micheaux, Lynden Rose and Michael Young. Other participants in the breakfast include NBA/ABA veteran David "Bid Daddy" Lattin and Inside the NBA host Ernie Johnson.

A special tribute will be given to the UCLA men's basketball coaching legend John Wooden, named national coach of the year six times.

Wooden, who retired after a national championship victory in 1975, died at age 99 last year.

Lynn Guerin, a close associate of Wooden, recently said during the 33rd News Journal All-Star Classic banquet that he plans to emphasize some of Wooden's principles during the Final Four weekend.

Athletes in Action is a sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. It is represented in 96 countries worldwide and on over 80 college campuses. The group's mission is to represent players who love Jesus.

The Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast is among four events AIA hosts to honor some of the most notable players and coaches throughout the year. The other events include the All-Star Breakfast, the Super Bowl Breakfast and Night of Champions.

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