The Penn State Behrend women’s basketball team has received the 2012-13 Donna Ledwin Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes “the highest degree of sportsmanship, character and ethics among players, coaches and spectators.”
The team also won the award for the 2009-10 season.
Coach Roz Fornari values the award, which measures a skill that is not often reflected on the scoreboard.
“I want my players to be the best representation of Penn State Behrend, both on and off the court,” she said. “We talk about it all the time.
“It’s the little things we do, like picking an opponent up off the floor, or being respectful of the officials, or even the other coaches, even when you disagree with them,” she said. “Things like that matter.”
The award is named for Donna Ledwin, commissioner of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. She has placed a premium on good sportsmanship: cheering for your team, rather than against the opponents; avoiding vulgar, profane or racist comments, as well as personal attacks on players, coaches and officials; and enforcing a no-tolerance policy for alcohol at all athletic contests.
Those guidelines appear on a large sign inside Junker Center, where the Lions will open their season on Nov. 15. Fornari makes sure her players see it.
“You try to mentor,” she said. “That goes a long way, when it’s reflected on the court.”