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
(6) Kate Scott
The early Tedford years were great times to be a Cal football fan: Aaron Rodgers under center, Marshawn Lynch running wild, and Kate Scott leading cheers as the school's first female mic man/yell leader. Since then Kate has continued to be a pioneer.
Scott was something of a pioneer even during her days at UC Berkeley, where she became the first full-time female "mike man" yell leader during Cal football and basketball games. Like with her radio work, Scott did not set out to break barriers or stereotypes. It was just something fun to do that she was good at.
Still, she knew that her mike-man job was special when Cal alums would repeatedly praise her as a good representative for young girls and lament that those opportunities were not available when they were in school.
"It wasn't why I wanted to do it," Scott says, "but the fact that it was having an impact on people was pretty cool."
Despite being a rare female in the boys' club that is sports radio - and much of sports journalism - Scott holds her own. "A lot of guys think that they know more about sports than women do," says Lee Hammer, KNBR's program director and sports operations manager. "She doesn't back down. She knows what she's talking about. She keeps guys in their place with the way she handles herself on the air."
Nor does she back down to those who object to her sexual orientation. With the proliferation of social media, it is easy for people to say things anonymously.
She prefers to think of the person who told her that he does not know any gay people but listening to her has helped him broaden his horizons. She remembers someone else who decided to come out to his family after listening to her on the radio. Girls walk up to Scott and tell her that she is their inspiration.