May 23, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) will present Purdue's Drey Mingo with The Honda Inspiration Award as part of its live telecast of the 2013 Honda Cup on ESPNU on Monday, June 24 at the USC Galen Center Founders Room in Los Angeles, Calif.
Mingo has overcome the type of adversity in life that most people would never imagine possible. Consider that the 6-foot-2 forward was found unconscious in her apartment just days after leading the Boilermakers women's basketball team to the 2010 Preseason Women's National Invitational Tournament championship. She had contracted bacterial meningitis. On the court, she gave nothing less than 100 percent as team captain and an inspirational leader. In the hospital, doctors gave her a 50 percent chance of survival. The Atlanta, Ga., native suffered total hearing loss in both ears at first, yet defied the odds by rejoining the team within 16 days after hospitalization. Approximately 90 percent of her hearing has been restored in her right ear and 30 percent in the left. Despite the change in her hearing and the adjustments made by her teammates, Mingo was poised and ready to lead them into her senior season when she suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament that sidelined her for the season. The NCAA granted her a sixth year of eligibility and Mingo returned to the team this past season as the second-leading scorer (12.2 ppg) and rebounder (6.0 rpg) en route being named the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player by leading Purdue to a second-straight Big Ten tournament title.
"I have certainly faced some challenges in the last few years, but I prefer to focus on the blessings that have come out of these situations and finding ways to pay it forwardl," Mingo said. "I am humbled to receive The Honda Inspiration Award and will do my best to use this platform to positively impact others. Finally, I couldn't have done it without the love and support of my family, friends, coaches, teammates and my entire Purdue family and I want to thank them and the Collegiate Women Sports Awards for this honor,"
Mingo received her bachelor's degree in biology in May 2012 and is pursuing a graduate degree in toxicology that will aid her towards her goal of becoming a pediatric cardiologist.
Mingo founded the Sounds of Serenity (teamsounds.net), a non-profit foundation whose mission is "to empower children within the hard of hearing community by raising awareness and sensitivity to confidence issues that may arise because of their need for hearing aids."
"Drey's foundation, Sounds of Serenity, has the ability to make an impact on the lives of thousands of hearing impaired young people," head coach Sharon Versyp said. "She is an outstanding role model, an incredible athlete, a strong student and a compassionate person. We are truly blessed to have her as part of the Boilermaker family."
As the CWSA's Honda Inspiration Award winner, Mingo will receive her award at a live ceremony in Los Angeles joined by an impressive roster of 2013 Honda Cup finalists, including Iowa State's Betsy Saina (cross country), Princeton's Katie Reinprecht (field hockey), North Carolina's Crystal Dunn (soccer), Oregon's Alaina Bergsma (volleyball), Georgia's Allison Schmidt (swimming & diving), Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (basketball), Florida's Bridget Sloan (gymnastics) and winners yet to be named in golf, tennis, track and field and softball.
The Honda Inspiration Award is added to an impressive list of honors for Mingo. She was a finalist for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, the V Foundation Comeback of the Year Award and the Senior CLASS Award, earning first team status. She was named to the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team, was a quarterfinalist for the CBS Courage in Sports award and the winner of both the Giant Steps Courageous Student-Athlete and the Methodist Sports Medicine Brady Comeback Scholarship Award.
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation's top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions. Previous Honda Cup winners include Brittney Griner, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Lisa Fernandez, Misty May-Treanor, Maya Moore and Candace Parker.