(7) Nnamdi Asomugha
R-Rated Superstar wrote a balling post on Asomugha. Incredible stuff from him.
Nnamdi Asomugha is the true embodiment of a California Golden Bear. On the field, Asomugha propelled himself to become one of the top secondary players in football while at the University of California. Playing safety at Cal, Asomugha was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2003 with the 24th overall pick where he then became a cornerback. What a cornerback he would turn out to be.
Since the first day, Asomugha has had to prove the doubters wrong. Many questioned whether or not he was worthy of the high selection, but he silenced all of them for good. After his eight-interception season in 2006, Asomugha earned the reputation of a being a shut-down cornerback. In 2007, one scout told Pro Football Weekly that Nnamdi Asomugha was thrown at "less than any defender in the last ten years." The following year, Nnamdi saw even less action. Opposing quarterbacks tested the top-notch corner a mere 27 times. Asomugha allowed only eight receptions all year. He's a unanimous All-Pro selection on every team and has earned the right to be called, undoubtedly, the best cornerback in the National Football League. He is, without question, the undisputed leader and the heart of the Oakland Raiders
Here are some of the awards that Nnamdi Asomugha has been noted for off of the football field.
Outstanding Community Service Nomination (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Commitment to Excellence Award (2006)
Commitment to Excellence Award (2007)
Home Depot Neighborhood MVP (2007)
Sports Illustrated 2008 Sportsman of the Year (2008)
"Do Right Men of 2008" by Essence Magazine (2008)
Nnamdi Asomugha graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Finance in 2006. More importantly, philanthropy has been a huge area of focus for the pride of the Silver and the Black. He has been partners with the East Oakland Youth Development Center since 2004. He emphasizes the importance of education, hard work ethic on and off the field, a positive attitude, and a healthy diet.
In 2006, Asomugha launched an annual high school college tour program. Each year, he teams up with the East Oakland Youth Development Center to take students from Bay Area high schools on college tours across the country. Additionally, Asomugha distributes backpacks to the incoming freshmen each year at Narbonne High School in Los Angeles. He also outfits the football and basketball team with shoes, a mandate he wrote into an endorsement contract he signed with Nike.
Not only does Asomugha help within his community, he also helps in his mother's homeland of Nigera, since he's born of Igbo descent, an ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria.
Education and community service are his mainstays. Asomugha serves as Advisory Board Chair for his family's foundation, the Orphans and Widows In Need (OWIN) Foundation. Through OWIN, Asomugha and his family provide food, shelter, medicine, vocational training, literacy efforts, and scholarships to widows and orphans victimized by poverty or abuse in Nigeria.
To top all of that off, Asomugha met with former president Bill Clinton to discuss the importance of global service and student activism at the Clinton Global Initiative University.
President Clinton's youth initiative designed to challenge college students to take action on some of the most pressing global issues in areas such as education, poverty and global health
Nnamdi retired this past December to close out a long, productive career.
(10) Kirk Everist
MSS: Kirk Everist (via swimmingworldtv)
The Cal water polo program has a storied history and Kirk Everist is one of the program's all-time greats. Everist has won four national championships as a Cal Bear: two as a player in the 1980s and two more as Cal's head coach.
Producing back-to-back NCAA titles, two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation crowns, 29 All-Americans and numerous academic honorees, Kirk Everist has proven to be the perfect individual to perpetuate the tradition of excellence that defines California water polo. In six seasons (140-40, .778) Everist has twice led the Golden Bears to the pinnacle of the sport; last year directing his alma mater to its NCAA-record 13th national crown with a 8-6 win over USC after a thrilling 7-6 last-second national championship victory over the Trojans in 2006.
A former three-time All-American, 1988 NCAA Player of the Year and two-time United States Olympian, Everist, 41, earned the 2002 MPSF Coach of the Year honors in his inaugural season when he guided Cal to the MPSF Tournament title and a national runner-up finish. Then in 2004, he was inducted into both the Cal Athletic and the USA Water Polo Hall of Fames. In 2006, Everist was selected USA Water Polo's Elite Co-Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to both the MPSF and NCAA titles. On July 29, 2002 Everist returned to his alma mater and immediately led the Bears to a 20-7 mark and Cal's first MPSF title and national runner-up finish since 1995. Now after guiding the Bears to the school's first back-to-back NCAA trophies since the early '90s, Everist and his troops are in a position to vie for a third-straight national crown in 2008.
Before his successful return to Berkeley, Everist had contributed to eight CIF North Coast championships as an assistant coach at Miramonte High School. During Everist's 11-year tenure at Miramonte, the school also produced nine league titles and three third-place finishes in the California State Tournament. He helped develop 22 high school All-Americans, and three of his former players went on to earn NCAA All-American recognition, while two ex-pupils have played on NCAA championship teams.
Two time national champion as a player. Two time national champion as a coach. Three time All-American. On top of all of that, Everist was twice a member of the United States Olympic water polo team. Certainly, Everist has Hall of Fame credentials.
Plus, we totally interviewed him and he had this great answer:
17. How many times do you run around the office in your swim trunks with the trophies laughing hysterically?
Not very often but it is a great job and I love it very much. CAL is an amazing place and I am very lucky to be here.