FAIRFIELD, OH (July 28, 2022)— Lakota West state champion and Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year, KK Mathis awarded the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields with a $1,000 grant to help accomplish our of ensuring every individual with every challenge gets every chance to play the game of baseball.
Mathis, a graduating Firebird who will attend and play softball for James Madison University in the Fall, selected the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields to receive this gift as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.
Sports have seen a double-digit decline over the past decade, largely due to tighter budgets in communities, but young people that participate in sports are found to be happier, healthier and better students. Gatorade Play It Forward empowers Gatorade Player of the Year recipients across the country to award local or national sports organizations with grants, so they can continue helping young athletes enjoy the benefit of sports.
“The Gatorade Player of the Year award highlights student-athletes who set an example both on and off the field,” said Kara Darling, Assistant Marketing Manager for Gatorade Player of the Year. “The grants give these athletes a chance to donate to organizations like the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields that positively impact the youth in their own communities.”
“In her time at Lakota West, KK Mathis has proven that she’s a winner,” said Tyler Bradshaw, Executive Director for The Nuxhall Foundation and the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. “However, the difference between a winner and a true champion is character—and with this donation and her tremendous level of compassion, there is now no doubt that KK Mathis is a champion. She is a special athlete who deserves all the good that will come to her throughout her academic and athletic career, and we can’t wait to invite her back to the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields to pitch to our special needs all-stars.”
All 608 Gatorade State Player of the Year recipients are awarded a grant to donate to the organization of their choosing. Each Player of the Year can also submit a video about why their organization is deserving of one of 12 Spotlight Grants, which is a larger monetary award.
Gatorade has a longstanding history of serving athlete communities and is to continue doing more to create positive change. Most recently, Gatorade announced Fuel Tomorrow, a new multi-year initiative to help everyone have equal opportunities to play sports and realize their potential.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow the conversation on Twitter #GatoradePOY. For more on Gatorade Play It Forward, the Gatorade Player of the Year, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit PlayerOfTheYear.Gatorade.com
About The Nuxhall Foundation and The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields
The Nuxhall Foundation is the legacy foundation for former Major League Baseball pitcher and longtime Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, Joe Nuxhall. A central project of The Nuxhall Foundation is The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields—an entirely accessible baseball and recreational facility where every player with every challenge gets every chance to play. More than 200 players between ages 4 to 78 participate in programs at the Miracle League Fields.
For more information, visit http://www.nuxhallmiracleleague.org.
About Gatorade Player of the Year
The Gatorade Player of the Year is an athletic award program that annually recognizes student-athletes not only for outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. The Gatorade Player of the Year award is the most prestigious award in high school sports. In existence for more than 35 years, past winners include Peyton Manning, Sydney McLaughlin, Mallory Pugh, Karl-Anthony Towns, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, and many other sports icons.
Play It Forward is Gatorade’s cause marketing platform, which empowers every one of the Gatorade Player of the Year award winners to choose a local or national youth sport organization to receive a $1,000 grant from Gatorade. Gatorade State Players of the Year may also submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of 12 Spotlight Grants, which awards $10,000 to the organization.
For all media inquiries or to schedule an appearance, please contact: