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February 20, 2014

Penn's Jok Receives USBWA Most Courageous Award

USBWA Release

Portions courtesy of the USBWA and Penn Athletic Communications

ST. LOUIS -- Penn senior guard Dau Jok has received his third honor in a month as he has been selected with Akron's Dan Peters as the 2013-14 recipients of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Most Courageous Award for men's basketball.

Jok will receive his Most Courageous Award on the Monday of the NCAA Men's Final Four weekend in North Texas at the USBWA's annual honors breakfast.

Since the calendar turned to the New Year, Jok has also been named one of five college finalists for the Wooden Citizenship Cup given by the Athletes For a Better World Foundation and one of five Division I players named to the Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Good Works Team.

Jok grew up in a world of violence in war-torn Southern Sudan, the son of a Sudanese army general who was murdered when Jok was six. Three years ago as a freshman at Penn, he established the Dut Jok Youth Foundation (www.dutjokyouthfoundation.org) in his father's honor to educate Sudanese youth through sports. Since then, he has been able to provide soccer balls and basketballs for kids in Sudan. One day he hopes there will be a secondary school, built with money from his foundation.

Jok has a goal to bring peace to his home country. He was named a recipient of the Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace award and received a $10,000 grant to help his cause to fight poverty and violence in Southern Sudan.

"I am optimistic because I think I am blessed with some of the resources at my disposal, whether it be human connection, people willing to help or having the solid foundation of people supporting me," Jok told the Penn Courant in 2011. "I think motivation, passion, (are) contagious. ... I have 1,000 reasons to smile rather than 100 reasons to be angry, so I have to keep that in perspective."

Jok and Peters join Kirsten Moore of NAIA Westmont College as the recipient of the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award for women's basketball.