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ASU pitcher Nesbitt receives prestigious state honor

Banquet chairman Reggie Walker, left, a partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, presents the “Peach of an Athlete” award to ASU starter John Nesbitt. (Albany State/Special to The Herald)

Banquet chairman Reggie Walker, left, a partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, presents the “Peach of an Athlete” award to ASU starter John Nesbitt. (Albany State/Special to The Herald)

ALBANY — Albany State University student-athlete John Ken Nesbitt was honored recently for his excellence in academics, athletics and community service. Nesbitt was named one of Georgia’s 2012 Peach of an Athlete Role Models by the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was one of 12 college student-athletes in Georgia to be chosen and honored during the annual reception and banquet, which was held Tuesday at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta.

For 28 years, the Peach of an Athlete awards banquet has recognized deserving athletes whose character, scholastic achievement, athletic excellence and commitment to community service most closely match the aims and ideals of the Boys Scouts. The goal of the banquet is to raise funds for the Boy Scouts, while honoring athletes who provide a positive role model for area youth.

Nesbitt, the ace pitcher for the Albany State baseball team, was beside himself when he found out he’d been selected.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this award. I always try to give it my all in my classes and in baseball. I try even harder to give back to the community through service,” he said. “I accept this honor not only for myself, but for my parents, who have taught me great values, (as well as) my teammates and coaches, Albany State University and (our conference).”

Nesbitt is a senior honor student and a health and physical education major, and he is ranked as one of the best of pitchers in the conference. As a starter, he has led the Rams to numerous victories during the past three seasons, including the 2010 conference titles and runner-up in 2009 and 2011. During his career, he has struck out more than 114 batters on the mound for the Rams and was named to the conference’s All-Academic Team and the All-Tournament Team in 2011. He was also the recipient of the 2011 Albany State Pitching Award, Golden Rams Captain’s Award and an Academic Achievement Award.

“We are extremely proud of Ken. He is certainly well-deserving of this honor because of his achievements in the classroom, on the playing field and in the community,” said Dr. Richard H. Williams, ASU’s interim director of athletics. “He is an outstanding role model, ambassador for Albany State University and is the embodiment of a Golden Ram student-athlete.”

As president of the ASU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Nesbitt has planned and spearheaded several community service projects. He has organized food and clothing drives for the homeless and needy families in Albany and Dougherty County. He led the group of more than 20 student-athletes in top fund-raising efforts for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to win the conference’s coveted Citizenship Award in 2011. Nesbitt and the SAAC group have also conducted fund-raising projects and awareness efforts for breast cancer by distributing literature about breast cancer and pink ribbons and collected donations at various campus sporting events.

Nesbitt is also a member of the Beta Psi Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. at Albany State. In his role as director of social affairs, he has planned and organized a variety of programs and events that are beneficial to the ASU campus community.