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Bria Matthews Wins ABW’s Wooden Citizenship Cup

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech track and field senior Bria Matthews has been named the winner of the prestigious Wooden Citizenship Cup for 2021. Matthews received the honor Thursday night at the Wooden Cup annual awards banquet, sponsored by Athletes For a Better World and hosted at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta.

Matthews was one of four finalists for the award along with Claire Kolff (Denison University), Trent Forrest (Florida State University) and Ryan Culhane (University of Dayton). The high school division recipients were Natalya Blair Newsome, Max David Friedman, Najah Nicholas and Cole Hagen. Rodrigo Blankenship received the Spirit of ABW Award, while Danny Wuerffel was the 2021 Wooden Citizenship Cup Professional Recipient.

  

Matthews is the epitome of an “Everyday Champion” at Georgia Tech, having overcome adversity during her illustrious collegiate career, becoming one of the most decorated Yellow Jackets in the triple jump. Beyond the playing field, Matthews has left a tremendous impact in the community.

A six-time ACC Champion (four indoor, two outdoor), including five titles in the triple jump, Matthews is also a four-time USTFCCCA All-American.

After an impressive freshman season on The Flats in which she claimed the 2016 ACC Indoor Championship in the long jump and triple jump, ACC Outdoor Championship (triple jump) and competed at the Olympic Trials, Matthews experienced a career-halting injury that sidelined her for nearly two years. Upon her full return in 2019, Matthews came back stronger, switching her plant leg, and went on to win three ACC titles and be named All-American twice more.

Matthews has taken three international service trips during her time at Georgia Tech – traveling to the Dominican Republic with Fellowship of Christian Athletes to enhance a local community center and build a dugout at a baseball field, Costa Rica with Jackets Without Borders to construct a multipurpose court at a local school and Haiti to distribute prototypes of portable solar charge controllers to families in need.

Additionally, Matthews has donated time to organizations like Girls on the Run, Michael Isenhour Toy Drive and Junior Achievement Biztown.

She was also a two-time Academic All-American (2019, 2020). She earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech in electrical engineering in 2019 and is due to receive her master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering next month.

Matthews is the first student-athlete from Georgia Tech to receive the Wooden Citizenship Cup at the college level. She joins fellow Yellow Jacket Stewart Cink, who won the award in 2019 at the professional level, as recipients of the prestigious award.

About the Wooden Citizenship Cup
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all high school, collegiate, Olympic, and professional sports. Annual nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports, and to athletes in public and private high schools across the country in partnership with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

The Wooden Cup is named for the legendary John Wooden, who won ten national championships during the years 1964-1975 as basketball coach at UCLA, and is considered one of college sports’ greatest coaches. Universally regarded as one of the finest human beings to ever grace the world of sports, his character, conduct and selfless gifts stand at the highest level by any standard. When Coach Wooden learned about Athletes for a Better World, he gave authorization to attach his name to this annual award, and he attended and addressed the inaugural event in Los Angeles in 2005. In his honor, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to four distinguished athletes, one collegiate, one professional or Olympic, and a male and female from the high school ranks, for their character and leadership both on and off the field.

Alexander-Tharpe Fund
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org

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