The Iba Award was first created in 1994 to recognize a male and a female premiere athlete who has excelled in their sport, and who exemplifies a high degree of citizenship in the image of Henry P. Iba, by demonstrating a desire to help others. Iba was former basketball coach for Oklahoma State University and three U.S. Olympic basketball teams.
Asomugha is the 12th NFL player to be selected as an Iba Awards recipient. He is the fifth consecutive NFL recipient, joining Derrick Brooks (2008), Drew Brees (2009), Brian Waters (2010) and Jason Taylor (2011). Other NFL players to take home Iba Awards are Peyton Manning, Drew Bledsoe, Will Shields, Warrick Dunn, Eugene Robinson, Chris Zorich and Mark Rypien. The list of male Iba award recipients also includes golfer Tom Lehman, baseball player Ozzie Smith and basketball players John Starks, Karl Malone, Bryce Drew, Dikembe Mutombo and Chris Paul.
Asomugha was named one of three finalists for the 2012 Bart Starr Award, one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2011, was presented with the 44th annual Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year award in 2010, became the ambassador for United Way of the Bay Area, and received the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2010. He has been an invited guest and participated in the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2009. He is currently the National Ambassador of the NFL and United Way.
Asomugha and his family formed the Asomugha Foundation to have a positive impact on disadvantaged youth in the United States and underprivileged orphans and widows in Africa. The foundation is comprised of two primary programs:
• Asomugha College Tour for Scholars (ACTS) — an annual college tour and mentoring program that provides high-achieving high school students of color an opportunity to visit college campuses across the country.
• Orphans and Widows in Need (OWIN) — it provides aid to a growing population of widows and orphans in Africa and positions them for economic success and independence through education, spiritual guidance and vocational training.
He also distributes backpacks to the incoming freshmen each year at Narbonne (Calif.) High School and outfits the football and basketball teams with shoes.
The female recipient will be Jessica Mendoza, National Pro Fast Pitch’s USSSA Pride and U.S. Women’s National Softball player with two Olympic medals. This prestigious black-tie event will be held at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center in Tulsa, Okla. For tickets or table sponsorship information, contact the Rotary Club of Tulsa at 918-584-7642 or online at ibaawards.com.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider