Caitlyn Ramirez, a senior criminal justice graduate student from Shawnee, Oklahoma, has been nominated for the 2017 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team.
This award honors women athletes at the collegiate level for their accomplishments in leadership on and off the court.
The WBCA Good Works Team nomination criteria include being in good academic standing while remaining actively involved in charity groups and community service organizations.
“Candidates should show superior dedication in these extracurricular areas,” according to the WBCA website.
For its fifth consecutive year, the WBCA is partnering with Allstate Insurance to create a team of outstanding players.
The selected players will be invited to the WBCA convention as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Final Four sponsored by Allstate Insurance.
Ramirez was selected for this opportunity due to her accomplishments both on and off the court.
On top of maintaining her basketball career, Ramirez also balances graduate school and volunteer work on a daily basis.
Her volunteer work includes feeding the homeless, volunteering with the elderly and partnering with various organizations to clean the community.
In addition, Ramirez is the first of her family to attend graduate college and seeks to inspire other students who come from similar backgrounds.
“She’s from a Native American community and family, and she really had a heart and a passion to try and inspire people back where she’s from and other Native Americans and young people that they can get out and live their dreams,” said Troy Women’s Head Coach Chanda Rigby, who nominated Ramirez.
“I really would feel honored and be so grateful for it,” Ramirez said about possibly receiving the award.
The organizations sponsoring the Good Works Team seek “to provide recognition for these future leaders, their academic institutions and the communities they serve and support,” according to the WBCA website.
“It’s nice to win games, but it’s nice to go out and get involved with the community,” Ramirez said.
“It’s so much more to us,” Ramirez said about the complexities of a student athlete. “People are just like ‘Oh, she’s just a student athlete.’ No, I’m a student athlete that’s been involved with the community, that’s gone and picked up trash on the side of the road, that’s gone out and interacted with elders, that’s gone out and read books to the children.”
In regard to her future endeavors, Ramirez has applied for several jobs, but also has several options open to her to play professionally.
“I got to keep all doors open to what my future has in hold for me,” she said.
Rigby hopes Ramirez will win this award, not only to add to her personal accomplishments, but to also bring a positive light to the city of Troy.
“It’s just a great reflection on Troy,” Rigby said. “It’s not just women’s basketball. All of our athletes do so much in the community…. It would be a pinnacle to have the light shed on Troy University.”
Out of 97 nominees, five will be selected from Division I and five from Division II, III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) combined, according to the WBCA website.
The selected players for the team will be announced in February.