ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The USBWA has awarded two
college scholarships this year as part of the association's
Steve Guback Scholarship program honoring the late
executive director and past president of the USBWA.
The first to receive a scholarship was Drew King,
a May graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. King received
a grant from the USBWA for $1,000. He was chosen from a group of
more than 30 students that attended the Larry Donald Memorial "Full
Court Press" sportswriting seminar at the NCAA Men's Final Four
The second scholarship was awarded to Jack Theisen,
son of USBWA member and Kansas SID Chris Theisen. Jack Theisen receives
$1,000 annually from the USBWA for four years. The scholarship is
awarded each year to the son or daughter of a USBWA member.
The Guback scholarships are in honor of the former executive
director of the USBWA from 1977-83. Guback, who passed away earlier
this month, also served as president of the USBWA in 1976-77.
The sportswriting seminar is named for Donald, who was the founder
of Basketball Times and a past president of the USBWA. Donald served
two years as USBWA president in 1986-87 and 1987-88. He is the only
two-term president in the history of the USBWA. Donald passed away
King, who hails from Tyler, Texas, spent two years in Austin
after earning his associate's degree in history from Tyler Junior
King spent just under two years at The Daily Texan, covering
women's basketball as well as track and field. He also hosted a
radio talk show for KVRX-FM during this time. He also spent three
months as a production intern at the KRWR radio station in Tyler
before his senior year. During his final semester in Austin, King
freelanced for the Dallas Morning News and wrote long-form stories
and covered the first two rounds of the NCAA women's basketball
tournament in Austin for Women's Hoops World. After graduating,
King accepted a job at the San Marcos Daily Record in Texas as a
King said that his passion for sports led him to sports journalism.
"I had always loved sports, so my last semester (in Tyler) I took
a couple of communications courses and I really enjoyed it," King
King's winning story looked at Phil Booth's role in Villanova's
national title run. Booth won his second title at Villanova in three
years after being forced to redshirt in 2016-2017 because of an
Kevin Robbins, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Journalism
at Texas, said that King's victory wasn't surprising because of
how hard he works. "He's a guy who gets his work done," Robbins
said. "Overall, he takes himself and his work seriously. I knew
the quality of his story and I'm glad it won."
Theisen is the son of Chris Theisen, Kansas' sports information
director at Kansas since 2004.
"Receiving this scholarship would be a tribute to my dad," Jack
Theisen wrote in his application for the award. "His commitment
to his profession has taught me the value of hard work."
Theisen was named valedictorian at Lawrence's Free State High
School, maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while taking
advanced and college prep courses for four years.
Theisen also played four sports – football, basketball, baseball
and track and field – and was named second-team all-league tight
end during his senior season for a Free State football team that
was ranked No. 1 in Class 6A for eight weeks and finished 10-1.
"Balancing school with my extracurricular activities was challenging,"
Theisen wrote, "but very rewarding."
Theisen was also committed to volunteer service and community
involvement. During his junior and senior years of high school,
he performed approximately 70 hours of community service with a
variety of organizations, such as Boys and Girls Club, Lawrence
Luncheon Optimists, Free State Link program and Cub Scouts.
"In addition to all these things, he is a great kid," wrote Tracie
Miller, a friend of the family since Theisen was in elementary school.
"We have enjoyed lots of time watching Jack in these various activities
and have witnessed that he is a great person. We are excited for
him and looking forward to watching what he does next."
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential
organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America
team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA
and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at