Hope College lacrosse student-athlete John Hunger has been chosen as the 2018 NCAA Division III men's recipient of the One Love Foundation's Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award.
The senior from Bay Village, Ohio (Bay HS) was a co-captain and midfielder for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champion Flying Dutchmen.
One Love was established to honor Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia lacrosse player, after her death in 2010, with the mission to change the statistics around relationship abuse by giving every young person a foundational understanding of the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Hunger graduated from Hope College last month and plans to become a certified public accountant.
Hope College head men's lacrosse coach Michael Schanhals said Hunger has been an excellent role model for our team.
"He is the consummate gentleman who lives out our ideals of treating people well, and thinking of other people first," Schanhals said. "I am tremendously proud of the work John has done to support IT'S ON US campaign and our school's efforts to stand up against domestic violence and sexual assault."
One Love Foundation's statement regarding John Hunger:
"Senior John Hunger of Hope College went from walk-on to senior captain during his time as a student-athlete. His "team-before-self" mentality and belief that leadership extends past playing time has earned him the utmost respect from his peers and coaching staff. These attributes have spread into other aspects of his life as he is involved in several community service initiatives such as IT'S ON US."
Established in 2011, the YRL Unsung Hero Award celebrates the selfless acts of initiative, commitment, and teamwork demonstrated by collegiate lacrosse players. For the first time since the award's inception, the candidate pool has grown to include Division I, II and III student-athletes, all recognized for their dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness, and sportsmanship – all traits that characterized Love's presence in the lacrosse community.
One Love recognizes six student-athletes across all three NCAA divisions with the Unsung Hero Award — saluting positive leaders who help their respective teams achieve success in ways that may not be measured in goals, saves or ground balls.
"We are so proud to honor these outstanding student-athletes with the Yeardley Love Unsung Hero Award. They epitomize the ideals of college athletes in that they are team-players, accomplished students, and active in their communities," said Sharon Robinson, Yeardley's cousin and head of the Unsung Hero Award committee. "We also want to thank all of the programs that have submitted nominees – each was amazing in a different way. We have great hope for the future when we meet such exceptional future leaders."