Harding, a 6-4, 285-pound offensive guard from Orlando, Fla., organized a mission trip to Ethiopia last summer in which he and his fellow Duke offensive linemen dug a freshwater well in a remote village. The group, which included 11 Duke football players and a strength and conditioning coach, completed one well and began digging another during their nearly two-week long stay.
A 2012 All-ACC honorable mention selection, Harding has been a fixture of Duke's offensive line since his freshman year when he earned Freshman All-America honors. He has played in 36 games during his Duke career with 27 starting assignments, including all 13 games at left guard during a 2012 season that included Duke's first bowl appearance since the 1995 All-American Bowl. Also an Academic All-District III selection, he blocked for a Duke offense that ranked second in the ACC in sacks allowed per pass attempt (26.37).
Other semifinalists for the Wooden Citizenship Cup include Matt Barkley (University of Southern California, Football), Shayla Bivins (Georgia Tech, Basketball), Michael Clay (University of Oregon, Football), Akeem Davis (University of Memphis, Football), Emily Dayton (University of Dallas, Soccer), Dimonde Hale (Dennison University, Basketball), Samantha Hodge (Western Carolina University, Soccer), Tanya Joseph (Wayne State University, Tennis), Tracy King (North Carolina A&T University, Basketball), Collin Klein (Kansas State University, Football), Jordan Kovacs (University of Michigan, Football), Megan Moir (University of Kentucky, Golf), Malach Radigan (Lindenwood University, Football), Megan Rhodes (Radford University, Soccer), Matt Rowley (Bethel College, Baseball), Rachel Storz (Agnes Scott College, Tennis), Kassandra Vegas (Northern Arizona University, Track and Field), Dalaine Whitlock (Concordia University, Soccer), Alyssa Zupon (Yale University, Ice Hockey).
The finalists for the award were also announced and include Brigetta Barrett (University of Arizona, Track and Field), Nathanael Franks (University of Arkansas, Track and Field), Meghan Lyons (University of North Carolina, Field Hockey), Andrea Mingo (Purdue University, Basketball) and Eric Soza (University of Texas at San Antonio, Football).
The Wooden Citizenship Cup recipients will be announced at a ceremony held in Atlanta in the Egyptian Ballroom of the Fox Theatre on Wednesday, April 25.
The Wooden Citizenship Cup is named for John Wooden, who won ten national championships during the years 1964-1975 as basketball coach at UCLA. When Coach Wooden learned about Athletes for a Better World, he gave authorization to attach his name to this annual award and attended and addressed the inaugural event in Los Angeles in 2005. In his honor, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to two distinguished athletes, one collegiate and one professional, for their character and leadership both on and off the field and for their contributions to sport and society.
With Pat Summitt, Dikembe Mutombo, Mia Hamm, Peyton Manning, John Smoltz, John Lynch, Andrea Yaeger and Cal Ripken, Jr. as previous recipients, the Wooden Cup is becoming one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Recipients are considered role models and athletes of excellence both on and off the field.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all collegiate and professional sports. Nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports.