The basics: Tyler Morgan, 23, is a senior guard for the men’s basketball team at Bellevue (Nebraska) University. He previously played for Clovis East and Fresno City College.
What he does: Working around his school and sports schedules, he finds time to help youths by volunteering as a mentor to middle school students, as a recreational director at his church in Nebraska and as a basketball coach and camp counselor. When he returns to the Clovis/Fresno area in the summer, he tries to contribute more of the same.
Why he does it: “I like helping young kids out because they’re the future,” he says. “I want to create a society with servant leaders, and have them understand that everything you have, you have to work for it and help others. Be grateful and be appreciative where it comes from.”
The turning point: It came early and stuck. In kindergarten, his father, Tom, would have help him out with charity events at Saint Agnes Medical Center. His commitment grew in the eighth grade and on into high school, running a “Little Hoopsters” program at Reyburn Intermediate and Clovis East. While at Fresno City, he and his teammates reached out to youths in the Sunnyside High area. “He likes to give back,” Tom Morgan says. “Basketball or whatever … he likes doing it.”
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Details, details: Morgan also has worked at CARE Fresno through a summer retreat and was an outspoken leader on the team. He was nominated for the nationwide Allstate Good Works Team for 2017 – a National Association of Basketball Coaches-sponsored award that recognizes off-court work. A record 181 nominees will be trimmed to 10 recipients and announced in February. Morgan remains involved with the Thanksgiving! Lutheran Church in Bellevue, where he plans and oversees activities such as basketball and dodgeball. He also runs the 3-on-3 league at his church.
What others say: “He’s been a huge blessing to our church,” Bellevue pastor David Witkop says. “For the kids, we put together a basketball team in the community and he comes help out there. He’s a good role model for them and he challenges them to be better human beings. Helps out with our Wednesday youth group and he’s been going with us to homeless shelters.”
How you can help: To volunteer with CARE Fresno, visit www.carefresno.org/get_involved or call (559) 492-8722.