Bronson Koenig received the 2017 United States Basketball Writers Association’s (USBWA) Most Courageous Award on Monday for his work with the Native American community.
Koenig, a member of the Ho-Chunk tribe, has accomplished quite a bit on the court for the Badgers during his career, but he has also been very busy off the court. Last year, he visited the Standing Rock reservation, where they were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, and spoke with youth of the Standing Rock tribe. He wrote about his experience for The Players’ Tribune. It was just part of his social activism for Native Americans.
“I am truly honored to accept this award,” said Koenig, who received the award during this year’s NCAA Final Four Luncheon at Hilton Squaw Peak in Phoneix, Arizona. “I first would like to thank the Writer’s Association for even considering me as a candidate, let alone choosing me for this award. Reading about the stories of the past recipients has taught me more than I could fathom about courage and I have learned so much from each and every one of them that I will carry with me throughout my journey.
“Being a role model, speaking out about issues and offering encouragement to the Native American community is one of the biggest priorities in my life,” added Koenig. “I’m trying to make an impact any way I can.”
Koenig is also an active philanthropist in the Madison community, participating in the Badgers Give Back outreach program. In addition to winning the USBWA’s Most Courageous Award, Koenig was among 30 candidates for this year’s Senior CLASS Award.
Koenig finished his Badger career ranked ninth on UW’s all-time scoring list with 1,459 points. He was part of a senior class that led the Badgers to four straight Sweet 16s, back-to-back Final Four trips (2014-15) and the national championship game in 2015.
The USBWA annually recognizes a player, coach, official or administrator who has demonstrated extraordinary courage reflecting honor on the sport of amateur basketball. Along with the award, the USBWA presents a $1,000 check to the charity or scholarship fund as selected by the recipient.