LAWRENCE, Kan. - Amanda Costner, the 2007 Big 12 women's golf champion, was named the Big 12 Female Sportsperson of the Year, the Big 12 announced Thursday. Costner becomes the first Kansas student-athlete to receive the honor and will graduate with a degree in applied behavioral science this August.
As part of her work with the Truancy Diversion Program, Costner regularly took junior high students to the driving range to experience the sport of golf. She volunteers nine hours a week for the program through Social Rehabilitation Services of Douglas County (Kansas). The experience has allowed Costner to work closely with local children who have not shown a commitment to attending school.
The Edmond, Okla., native also has volunteered to serve breakfast at the Jubilee Cafe, a non-profit organization in Lawrence, Kan., that provides food to those in need. In addition, Costner is an active volunteer in Kansas athletics community service programs including Hawks, Cops and Kids, which provides children in grades 3-8 with the chance to interact with KU student-athletes and learn valuable lessons from law enforcement professionals.
The 2007 Big 12 Women's Golf Championship medalist also assists with Fun and Fitness with the Jayhawks, an initiative by the Lawrence school district to motivate kids to exercise and eat well. She participated with her teammates in purchasing holiday gifts for children through the Adopt-An-Angel project in conjunction with the Haskell Indian Nations University. Costner displayed her sportsmanship on the golf course when she mistakenly hit the wrong golf ball at a tournament and reported her mistake to her playing partners and a course marshall, resulting in a two-stroke penalty against her score.
Costner, who was the first Jayhawk in history to be crowned with the individual title at the Big 12 Championship on April 18, led the Jayhawks with a 75.87 stroke average this year. Costner, who is the only Jayhawk in history to record two top-10 finishes at a Big 12 Championship, was also named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team this season.
The Sportspersons of the Year Award was started in 2000-01 to annually recognize student-athletes who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and/or community service during the academic year. Costner and Pendleton were selected by a media panel. The Big 12's recipients are nominated for the NCAA Sportsmanship Award.
Oklahoma's Carl Peterson received the Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year award for his decision to graduate early and bypass his senior year of eligibility, in part, to care for his 11-year-old stepbrother, Kierstan, who moved in with him two years ago.