Thursday, April 24, 2003JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 24, 2003) - East Tennessee State University women's basketball player, Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.), has been chosen as the university's representative for the 2003 NCAA Leadership Conference to be held May 25-29 at the Coronado Springs Resort and Walt Disney World Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The NCAA Leadership Conference is one of the largest non-competitive gatherings of NCAA student-athletes. This will be the seventh leadership conference that the NCAA has hosted for student-athletes who compete in fall, winter and spring sports in Divisions I, II and II. The conference was designed as a forum for student-athletes to discuss key issues collectively, and to provide them with an opportunity to enhance skills, which will enable them to become more effective leaders and motivators when they return to their campuses. The conference also provides student-athletes with exercises to enhance their decision-making and problem-solving skills, and to improve planning and priority management. "Each year we submit applications for the leadership conference and have been very fortunate to nominate outstanding student-athletes," Buccaneer academic advisor Kim Reece said. "Kiya is a shining example of the development that a young person undergoes through their involvement in Intercollegiate Athletics." Criteria for selection include the student-athletes' demonstrated ability and strong desire to be a leader and the student-athletes' potential to benefit significantly from a leadership development experience. In order to be eligible for the leadership conference, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and must have athletics eligibility remaining in the following academic year. A committee comprised of CHAMPS/Life Skills coordinators from member institutions and the NCAA student-athletes review the nominations to determine the final selections. "Kiya is a quiet young woman by nature, but her personality and skills she has developed are making her a great leader," Reece added. "Having observed her in leadership roles through her practicum experiences in Sports Management and her incredibly active involvement in our community services projects makes her a student that we can all be proud of."
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