Howard Judge for Scholar Athletes Program

November 10, 2011

Foot Locker LogoNEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Foot Locker Foundation and announced today the celebrity judging panel for The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program, which honors 20 exceptional student athletes with $20,000 each in college scholarships.  The program recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence and show their strength of character and devotion to their sports, as well as their communities. Celebrities who have signed on to help select these highly-motivated recipients, include, Nnamdi Asomugha (left), Brad Ausmus (center), Suzy Favor-Hamilton, Dr. Chris Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Josie Loren, Jarrod Shoemaker and Barry Zito (right).

Nnamdi AsomughaBrad AusmusBarry Zito

These panelists, all college graduates and positive role models, will assist in the judging process.  After the celebrity judging panel scores the first round, applicants will participate in Skype interviews to discuss why they should receive the scholarship. Finally, Foot Locker will determine the 20 students who they feel are the most deserving of the $20,000 college scholarships.  

"We are thrilled to have such an outstanding panel of celebrity judges who embody the strong moral qualities and character that define the Foot Locker Scholar Athlete," said Ken C. Hicks, Chairman, President and CEO, Foot Locker, Inc.  "Together, we will look for inspiring students who strive for academic and athletic excellence, and are committed to being influential leaders within their communities."

"We have hit a home run with the All-Star line-up of judges," said April Wright, who heads up the program for "We want the winners to be as diverse as the talent participating in this amazing program.  All of these students should be passionate and committed to empowering their community."

The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Celebrity Judging Panelists are:

Nnamdi Asomugha is a cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Golden Bears at the University of California, Berkeley and was picked in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. He is considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Off the field, education and community service are his mainstays. Asomugha serves as Chairman for the Asomugha Foundation, which operates two primary programs: Orphans and Widows in Need and Asomugha College Tour for Scholars.

Brad Ausmus is a former All-Star catcher in Major League Baseball, and currently a special assistant for the San Diego Padres. Ausmus chose an unusual route to the major leagues.  Instead of signing with the New York Yankees after the 1987 draft, he chose to pursue another childhood dream -- attending Dartmouth College. The Yankees allowed him to attend classes while playing in the minor leagues during his off terms. Given NCAA rules barring paid professional athletes from playing college sports, Ausmus could not play for the Dartmouth Big Green, and instead served as a volunteer coach and bullpen catcher. He graduated in 1991 with an A.B. in Government.

Suzy Favor-Hamilton is a former American professional middle distance runner. Favor-Hamilton began running at age nine and went on to become one of the top 100 high school athletes of the century.  In 1985, Suzy competed in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, placing second at the National Finals.  She became the most decorated female collegiate athlete ever at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Arts in 1991. Favor-Hamilton is a three-time Olympian and the holder of seven U.S. National Championships and she has run sub-4 in the 1500m five times, with a personal best of 3:57.40. With genuine warmth that transcends age and athletic ability, Favor-Hamilton is embracing the second phase of her professional career by sharing lessons learned on and off the track through motivational speeches, appearances and running camps/clinics.

Dr. Chris Howard is the 24th President of Hamden-Sydney College ( and one of the youngest college presidents in the United States. Hampden-Sydney, a US News & World Report Top 100 ranked liberal arts college, has been in continuous operation since classes began in 1775 on its historic campus 60 miles southwest of Richmond, VA. Dr. Howard is a distinguished graduate of the US Air Force Academy where he earned a BS in Political Science and was named an Academic All-American football player in addition to receiving the Campbell Award as the top senior Scholar-Athlete in the nation for the sport. A Rhodes Scholar, he earned his Doctorate in Politics at Oxford University and an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School.

Sanaa Lathan is an American actress.  She has starred in numerous movies, including the box-office hits Love & Basketball, Alien vs. Predator, Something New, and The Family That Preys. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in English.  Lathan contemplated a career in law, but instead enrolled at the Yale School of Drama.

Josie Loren is an American actress best known for her role as 'Kaylie Cruz' on the television drama Make It or Break It.  She studied at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Before she attended college, she cheered for an All-Star cheerleading team in Miami called the Top Gun All-Stars.  Her other television credits include The Bill Engvall Show, Hannah Montana, Drake & Josh and Corey in the House.

Jarrod Shoemaker is a professional triathlete based in Maynard, Massachusetts. In 2000, Shoemaker graduated from Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School where he earned a total of ten varsity letters (four in cross-country, four in swimming and two in track), served as captain of each team, and contributed to the school's state high school swimming championship in 1998. He continued his athletic career as a cross-country and track star at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 2004 with a major in History.

Barry Zito is a Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. Zito played collegiately at UC Santa Barbara, Los Angeles Pierce College and the University of Southern California. In 1999, he was drafted by the Oakland Athletics with the ninth pick of the first round.

Students can apply online or be nominated by teachers, coaches, friends, and family by visiting Applications close on January 9, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (EST).  

Applicants must be college-bound as a freshman in the Fall of 2012, participate in a sport and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Participants will be required to submit three essays and two recommendations. All applications will be reviewed by a panel of scholarship experts as well as the celebrity judges.

The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program is a part of the Foot Locker Foundation, Inc., which is dedicated to providing monetary support for educational and sports programs across the country. Fastweb, a trusted scholarship and financial aid resource used by students to help find opportunities to pay for school, is supporting the scholarship program.