BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Lewis & Clark senior Alex Jones is one of two collegians selected for the winter Play It Forward Award from the Oregon Sports Awards in an announcement on Monday. Jones, who has volunteered hundreds of hours to various causes over his four years as a Pioneers student-athlete, was selected for his heavy involvement with Specialty Athletic Training, an organization that exclusively trains individuals with special needs, most of whom are children.
Jones has been a trainer and peer mentor, working one-on-one with clients of Specialty Athletic Training, which was founded by former Lewis & Clark football student-athlete Ryan Lockard. In addition, Jones has served as a basketball coach for youth camps and volunteered with the men's basketball team at the Portland Marathon.
"Our clients have loved his positive attitude and outgoing personality," said Lockard. "He has been able to easily relate to our clients and always have them leaving their training sessions with a smile on their face."
The Play It Forward Award was created to recognize student-athletes who are inspirational role models in their community. In partnership with Nike and Providence Health and Services, the Play It Forward Award recognizes two college and two high school student-athletes following the fall, winter and spring sports seasons. Austin Tharp of the University of Oregon Track and Field team was the other collegiate recipient for this past winter. In addition, three nonprofit organizations receive a $5,000 donation from Play It Forward.
All awardees will be eligible for the annual Play It Forward Award and scholarship. One exceptional student will be selected from the seasonal awardees recognized throughout the 2016-2017 school year. That student will be honored at the annual Oregon Sports Awards event in June at Nike's World Headquarters and will also receive a scholarship in the amount of $2,500.
Jones is the second Lewis & Clark student-athlete to win a seasonal Play It Forward Award. Deion Mock, who competed in football and men's track and field, was named the recipient in March 2016.
Over his competitive career, Jones played in 64 games and scored over 350 points. He was a career 37.6 percent shooter and pulled down 124 rebounds.
"Since Alex joined this program, he has done nothing but think about others," said Lewis & Clark men's basketball head coach Dinari Foreman. "He works with everyone in our community, younger and older. Through all of the commitments he's made, it embodies why he has received this award."
Jones, a Biology major, made the Spring 2016 Dean's List during his junior season. Throughout his time at Lewis & Clark, Jones has volunteered over 250 hours as a researcher for Oregon Health & Sciences University, more than 100 hours with Specialty Athletic Training and 20-plus hours volunteering for the Portland Marathon. Additionally, he's been a student committee member for Lewis & Clark College's Biology department, worked as a wellness coach for Special Olympics and was an Academic English Studies tutor.
Following commencement in May, Jones plans to apply to pharmacy school while continuing to work with Specialty Athletic Training.