USC Upstate women’s soccer player Alexa Hone was honored as one of five finalists at the 2016 Wooden Citizenship Cup awards dinner in Atlanta on April 27, 2016.
The award, which was founded by Athletes for a Better World, is presented to two distinguished athletes, one collegiate and one professional or Olympic, for their character and leadership both on and off the field and for their contributions to sport and society.
Hone, who was honored recently as Most Valuable Player for the Women’s Soccer Team, was recognized not only for her career on the field and in the classroom, but for her work in the community.
As captain, Hone’s role includes service as the women’s soccer team’s Community Service Representative. Her influence led directly to the team’s involvement with a number of initiatives within the Spartanburg community. She was the recipient of the USC Upstate athletic department’s Helping Hands Award – an award given to the student-athlete who goes above and beyond their duties on the field and in the classroom to help the community.
“During her time with our team, I have watched Alexa grow into an incredible leader, teammate and person. She is driven to achieve, she is passionate, coachable, and positive and has a heart to serve those around her,” said Upstate women’s soccer head coach Abby Minihan.
Hone’s efforts in the community have been tireless. She helped organize a 5k color run with a sorority on campus to support cancer research, which included her team’s assistance. Additionally, she organized the Spartans to help serve at Miracle Hill Soup kitchen in Spartanburg every week during the spring of 2014. She has been a liaison for SNAC – Student Nutritional Assistance Campaign food and toiletries collection (2015) and also helped the team get involved with Miracle League bi-annually. Other notable community events that Hone has directed or has been a part include: Field Day at Arcadia Elementary School in Spartanburg, Athletes Helping Athletes in High School, Morning Reading at Jesse S. Bobo Elementary School in Spartanburg, Angel Tree: holiday gift donation to local children, Boys and Girls Club Soccer Clinics, The International Fair of Spartanburg, Habitat for Humanity, and volunteering at Hatcher Gardens.
Most notably, she has led the Spartans’ involvement at The Hope Center for Children in Spartanburg – a temporary home for children who have been removed from their home and placed into emergency foster care by social services. There are boys and girls at the home, ages 0-18. Because the Center was in need of logistical help and the children in need of time, attention, and mentorship, Hone organized the entire team’s involvement – from helping collect monies for background checks and paperwork for the Center, to the weekly schedule and hours of the volunteers from our team, and of course volunteering herself.
“I strongly believe that there is strength in numbers, and the platform that student-athletes hold can be used to shine a light that can be added into the lives of others,” said Hone.
Lastly, but certainly not the least, while being committed to her development and growth as a person, a leader, a player, a teammate, a mentor and a community server, Hone is an excellent student, carrying a 3.78 grade-point average throughout her four years at Upstate.
“I thought that we were going to be the ones affecting these children, helping to ease their pain, but in return they have affected me. Every day, leaving them gets harder and harder, because they are becoming more than just people I volunteer with,” said Hone.
“My heart for serving has completely transformed since stepping on this campus. I can’t help but constantly think about the impact that Upstate athletes have on this Spartanburg community. I am beyond proud to be a Spartan and because of that this past year has been a complete transition. I have always had a passion for volunteerism, but this is different; it’s become my heart and soul.”
Hone also serves as the Atlantic Sun Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Vice Chair.