By Randy York
Rex Burkhead, Jordan Burroughs and Lindsey Moore came to Nebraska from different states with diverse backgrounds and played different sports, but they’re bound by the same competitive principles and share a keen sense of sportsmanship.
“Sportsmanship is an attitude,” says Burroughs, Nebraska’s Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler.
“Sportsmanship is a sign of class,” says Moore, the record-breaking four-year starting point guard on the Husker women’s basketball team.
“Sportsmanship is a way of life,” says Burkhead, NU’s Academic All-America running back and 2012 captain of the Allstate Good Works Team.
Burkhead, Moore and Burroughs all have impeccable reputations as Huskers, and that’s why the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame (NHSSHOF) asked them to be part of a Public Service Announcement on sportsmanship, so younger kids could view them as the role models they are.
All three Huskers quickly accepted that request, and Burroughs will be an important ambassador on Tuesday, Feb. 5, when the NHSSHOF, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Athletic Department, hosts the first-ever combined Sportsmanship Pep Rally at Waverly High School’s main gym.
Burkhead is training for the NFL draft and Moore is in the midst of her team’s regular season, but Burroughs will be among an all-star cast of Huskers who will share their thoughts about sportsmanship with more than 1,500 middle-school students from across Nebraska.
Nebraska Athletic Director Emeritus Tom Osborne will be the keynote speaker for a 90-minute program that goes beyond sportsmanship and addresses the issue of anti-bullying while discussing the importance of respect, pride, total-person development and life skills.
“Sportsmanship for Life and this pep rally are designed to reinforce Nebraska’s standards, principles and values,” said Larry Munksgaard, executive director of the NHSSHOF. “Our goal is a well-organized event that will reflect this state’s work ethic, character, morals, integrity, commitment, honesty, passion and our state’s national reputation for sportsmanship, which is so well exemplified by Lindsey, Jordan and Rex.”
Others who will join Osborne and Burroughs at the Sportsmanship Pep Rally are Husker football student-athletes Kenny Bell and Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska basketball representatives Trevor Menke and Dominique Kelley, Husker volleyball playersMeghan Haggerty and Sheridan Zarda and Waverly native and NU track and field captain Anne Martin. The Waverly High School Pep Band will provide pre-event entertainment, and the Nebraska Cheer Squad and Mascots will target their entertaining message to middle-school students.
Nebraska softball coach Rhonda Revelle, a nationally prominent motivational speaker, will help wrap up the event that also features the Spin-tacular Basketball Show led by Bruce Crevier and his family from Jefferson, S.D.
“The basketball show is top-level entertainment that includes a strong message of hope for this generation,” Munksgaard said. “They’ve performed in more than 35 countries and will help make our inaugural pep rally an inspiring one for everyone involved.”
Keith Zimmer, Nebraska’s associate athletic director for life skills, has worked with the Hall-of-Fame organization on the program. “We’re emphasizing good sportsmanship, responsible behavior and the need to make sound choices, not only inside the traditional school day, but outside the school walls as well,” Zimmer said.
Editor’s Note: For more information about the “SPORTSMANSHIP PEP RALLY,” please contact either Munksgaard at 402-432-8049 or Zimmer at 402-472-4616.
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