March 5, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the SEC once again highlighted a Community Service Team for men’s basketball for the 2011-12 season. South Carolina senior forward Malik Cooke was named to the squad in 2012.
Cooke has participated in several hours of community service during his time at South Carolina. Specifically during the 2011-12 season, Cooke helped promote literacy in a local middle school, visited with Wounded Warriors at Fort Jackson in Columbia, and participated in the Fourth Annual Darrin Horn Ladies Clinic. (complete information below)
This marks the 14th year for the SEC Community Service Team for men’s basketball as well as for women’s basketball. All 20 league-sponsored sports have had a Community Service Team since 2004, with at-large teams for men’s and women’s sports being chosen from 1999-2003. The SEC began this concept with a football Community Service Team in 1994.
Below is a list of all 12 members of the team.
Trevor Releford – Alabama (So. | G | 6-1 | 180 | Kansas City, Mo.) Assisted greatly with various team and individual efforts to help aid tornado victims and assist in recovery with an emphasis on work done in the Holt community … Also participated in a free basketball clinic hosted by the program for children affected by the devastation … Additionally participated in various free clinics for youth players at various locations across the state.
Michael Sanchez – Arkansas (Sr. | F | 6-8 | 236 | Springdale, Ark.)
Currently growing his hair out for “Locks of Love,” an organization that makes wigs for children with Cancer … Major contributor to the SEC Together We Can Food Drive … Participant in Arkansas’ Leadership Academy; reads to area elementary school children as a part of Razorback’s “Book Hogs” Program … Regular visitor to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital … Speaker at various events/camps about Staying in school and being good citizens … Other Activities, Awards, etc.: Fifth-year senior who earned his bachelor’s degree in four years and is currently working on his Masters degree … Multi-time member of Arkansas’ Academic Honor Roll and SEC Academic Honor Roll … 2009 member of the SEC Community Service Team
Kenny Gabriel – Auburn (Sr. | F | 6-8 | 209 | Charlotte, N.C.)
Mentors children and works with 4 year olds twice per week at the Auburn University Early Learning Center Preschool … Read to elementary school students in the Pine Hills Literacy Program at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County … Served as the Men’s Basketball representative on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), assisting with the organization of Student-Athlete Day and the annual Toys for Tots toy drive … Visited cancer patients at East Alabama Medical Center’s Cancer Center … Participates annually in the SEC’s Together We Can Food Drive … Participated in the AORTA (Auburn Opelika Running and Track Association) two mile run for Breast Cancer Awareness … Received the Paul Lambert/Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Trophy, the most prestigious basketball award for leadership, at the team’s awards banquet last year.
Will Yeguete – Florida (So. | F | 6-7 | 222 | Bourdeaux, France)
During his time in Gainesville, Yeguete has volunteered with his Gator teammates for events … At the Climb for Cancer Foundation’s Brandon Ling Memorial Sports Camp, Yeguete and other UF student-athletes spend time with cancer patients and their siblings doing fun activities, taking pictures and signing autograph … Assisted in a Thanksgiving food drive where he and several other Gators helped unload, pack, reload and distribute food to feed over 500 needy and homeless families in Gainesville and the surrounding communities … Additionally, Yeguete and his teammates have taken time out of their season to visit children at Shands Hospital.
Matt Bucklin – Georgia (Sr. | G | 6-0 | 170 | Marietta, Ga.)
Christmas Shopping with a member of the Athens Boys and Girls Club … Active Participant in the “Friends Of Jaclyn” Foundation to help improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors … Volunteer at the annual “Do It For Broph” 5K Run/Walk … Featured speaker at Clarke Central High School FCA chapter … Visited campers at Camp TBI (To Be Independent/Traumatic Brain Injuries) … Has made the SEC Honor Roll every year on the team … Named to the UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Council for the 2012 academic year … Named “Most Inspirational Player” at 2011 UGA Basketball Team’s post-season awards banquet.
Darius Miller – Kentucky (Sr. | G | 6-8 | 235 | Maysville, Ky.)
Darius has logged several hours in the community, including working with God’s Pantry, packing backpacks and delivering them to local elementary schools to children and families in need … He also visits children at the UK Children’s Hospital as well as other local elementary schools … Miller has also donated his time at the Ronald McDonald House as well as joined in the Cats’ Samaritan Feet project … He was also selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2011-12 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in SchoolÂ®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Justin Hamilton – LSU (Jr. | C | 7-0 | 260 | Alpine, Utah)
American Heart Association’s Go Healthy Challenge young kids learning exercises and nutritional guidelines … Halloween BOOzar … Roaring into the Halls – helping freshman move into their new dormitories … An annual trip Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Christmas visit … In his second year as SAAC member representing men’s basketball.
Nick Williams – Ole Miss (Jr. | G | 6-4 | 210 | Mobile, Ala.)
Williams is a regular participant in Reading with the Rebels (a program which helps promote reading to area students) and spends time with children at local day care centers … He has visited patients at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and has taken time to visit with underprivileged children from the local Boys and Girls Club … Among the activities with the Boys and Girls Club have been building scarecrows with them and delivering Christmas gifts.
Charles Parker – Mississippi State (Jr. | G | 5-10 | 168 | McKinney, Texas)
Participated in Soles4Soul … Organized Thanksgiving canned food drive … Led pep rallies at local schools to promote reading … Oversaw local HeadStart’s Fall Festiva … Did art projects throughout campus to promote athletics … St. Jude Fundraisers … Bulldogs on the Move – exercise program for handicapped children … Coaches basketball at local park and rec.
Malik Cooke – South Carolina (Sr. | F | 6-6 | 215 | Charlotte, N.C.)
Cooke has participated in numerous hours of community service during his career at South Carolina … During the 2011-12 campaign, Cooke has visited Alcorn Middle School in Columbia to help promote literacy and the importance of reading to the middle school students … He also read to a grade school class, visited with at-risk youth prior to a women’s basketball game, participated in the Fourth Annual Darrin Horn Ladies Clinic, a clinic hosted by the South Carolina staff that raises awareness for breast cancer and breast cancer research … Cooke also participated in the World Wide Day of Play, and, along with his teammates and the South Carolina staff, spent a day at Fort Jackson, a military base in Columbia, visiting with soldiers, Wounded Warriors, and also participating in an after school fan experience at Pinckney Elementary School at Fort Jackson.
Cameron Tatum – Tennessee (Sr. | G | 6-7 | 193 | Lithonia, Ga.)
Built a home for a Knoxville family of three through Habitat for Humanity … Taught children with disabilities about playing basketball with Hoops for Hope … Handed out shoes to elementary school children through Shoes for School … Visited patients at St. Jude’s, UT Medical Center & Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center … Volunteered at Vine Magnet School, an inner-city Knoxville school.
Steve Tchiengang – Vanderbilt (Sr. | F | 6-9 | 245 | Douala, Cameroon)
Tchiengang volunteers many hours at two Vanderbilt hospitals – the Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital and the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital … He works with African refugees in the Nashville area, and invites them to a few games at Memorial Gym every year … He also speaks with middle schools in the Houston and Nashville areas, and gives free basketball lessons to elementary school children in both Houston and Nashville … Other Activities, Awards, etc.: Member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee on campus, which helps organize the annual Christmas Party and Field Days for underprivileged children.