Basketball players nominated to Allstate Good Works Team

Two Central Michigan basketball players have been recognized for their work off the court.

Senior forward Jewel Cotton from the women’s team and senior forward Blake Hibbits from the men's team were nominated for the Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Good Works Team for their community service work in the Mid-Michigan area.

Women's basketball coach Sue Guevara praised Cotton for her work in the community. 

“She’s not only a really good leader for us, but she’s also very conscious of making her mark in the world off the court,” Guevara said. “She’s been this way for the last five years. If we could keep her for one more (season) that’d be great. She takes care of her business, her teammates, and I’ve watched her grow into a very responsible young woman.”

Cotton has helped mentor student-athletes in the Indoor Athletic Complex and delivered diapers raised from the “Diaper Dandy” games throughout her collegiate career.

“Being from Detroit, you don’t have very many resources, and if (you do), they are limited,” Cotton said. “Coming to Mount Pleasant where everyone is so giving, it just makes you want to give back. We have so much love around us, so many fans just want to talk to us and get to know us, and you can’t get that anywhere else. I give back because I love the feeling and being able to talk with people, it doesn’t even have to be about basketball.”

Hibbitts was nominated for participating in Special Olympic activities in Mount Pleasant and for working on School Matters, a child-focused program created by the men's basketball team that stresses the importance of staying in school and being good friends, classmates and citizens.

"Blake Hibbitts is just an outstanding young man," said Head Coach Keno Davis. "I know he's had the injury and some setbacks. I hope he continues to get healthy and be an important part of this team, but it's been really my pleasure to have him apart of our program all five of my years here and he's a big reason we've been able to move this program forward. In terms of the quality of the individual, Blake is off the charts."

This is the fifth year the NABC and the WBCA have joined Allstate in selecting players who have helped in their respective communities. 

The NABC and the WBCA nominated a total of 278 athletes. There will be 10 men's and 10 women's players selected for the award in February. The list will include five players from the Division I level and five players from the Division II, III and NAIA levels.