Rutherford Receives Pattison Champions of Character Scholarship
KANSAS CITY, Mo.- Rogers State men’s basketball player Maurice Rutherford received the Champions of Character Award and earned one of five Pattison Family Foundation Scholarships during the 2012 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Men’s Basketball Championship.
Each year the Pattison family recognizes select student-athletes at the tournament who excel both on and off the court. The recipients, who receive a $2000 scholarship, are chosen from a field of 32 Champions of Character award nominees from each tournament team. The presentation took place during the Tip-Off Banquet on Tuesday, March 13. All 32 Champions of Character nominees were recognized and the five scholarship winners were announced.
“I am honored to receive this award, Rutherford said.” “I have many great mentors in my life and I try to impact people in the same positive way.”
Rutherford, a senior from Broken Bow, Okla., will graduate with a degree in Sports Management in May. He volunteers at One Hope Sports Ministries, a non-profit organization that targets Tulsa’s inner city youth, in the summer working the weeklong basketball camp. Rutherford is an active volunteer with “Zebra Stripes,” an after school program where he helps elementary school students with their homework and participates in activities.
The two-year captain has worked as an instructor at RSU basketball camps for six consecutive years. He has spoken at various elementary and high schools in the area, participated in the Read to Achieve program at Claremont Elementary, helped with Toys for Tots at The Church at Battle Creek, was a member of the Roger State Relay for Life team which benefits the American Cancer Society, and represented the RSU men’s basketball team in the Claremore Veteran’s Day Parade last fall.
“Maurice Rutherford has been the backbone of our program since I inherited the head coaching position,” RSU Head Coach Justin Barkley said. “He is a coach on the floor and a leader not only on the court, but also in the community and on campus. His intangibles as a person will allow him to be a winner in life”
Rutherford was the first player to sign with the Hillcat basketball program as he has been with the team since the inaugural season in 2007-08. Over his five-year career, the Cats have won 20-plus games each season and are making their third National Tournament appearance.
On the court, Rutherford currently holds the record for career assists and career offensive rebounds.
The Hillcats (23-8) registered a 62-58 opening round win over Tougaloo (Miss.) on Wednesday afternoon at Municipal Auditorium. They will return to action at the NAIA National Tournament on Friday at 9 a.m. Live audio for the contest will be streamed at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.