05/06/2018 12:15 PM
As part of the Bulls/Sox Youth Academy summer camp experience, there are special awards given out for both baseball and basketball. During our White Sox Youth Academy summer camps awards are given out for Hustle (Minnie Minoso), Respect (Frank Thomas), Team Player (Paul Konerko), and Courage (Michael Gustafson) and similar awards are given out at our Bulls Youth Academy summer camps for Hustle (Scottie Pippin), Respect (Michael Jordan), Team Player (Toni Kukoc), and Courage (Michael Gustafson). One constant in the name of these awards is Michael Gustafson who passed away January 6, 2013 at the age of 15 after a five year battle with medullabastoma. The Naperville North High School freshman had been a participant at the Bulls/Sox Academy since he was nine, participating in baseball, basketball, and sports conditioning programs.
Michael defined selflessness, as he had three Lock-Ins at the Academy for his birthdays, but each year instead of asking for presents, he asked his friends to donate to cancer research. His dedication ended up raising over $30,000 for Relay for Life and toward the end of his battle, with his parents help, Michael started the Swifty Foundation, whose mission is to raise funds and awareness for pediatric brain cancer research.
The Michael Gustafson Courage Award will be awarded at every Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls Youth Academy summer camp. The recipient of the award will be chosen by the summer camp lead instructor to the one athlete at each camp with the best all-around attitude who maximizes his/her ability, overcomes challenges, and deals with adversity
“Our coaches work with kids every day. Our mission is to inspire kids through sports and teach valuable life skills along the way: persistency, courage, sportsmanship, and leadership. Michael Gustafson embodied all of those qualities and became the teacher; inspiring our staff, our coaches, and every athlete who had the good fortune to come into contact with him,” stated Michael Huff, Bulls/Sox Academy President. “It was only fitting that we honor his memory by creating the Courage Award in his name. I can’t think of a better role model who exemplified the Academy values and mission.”
For more information or to donate to the Swifty Foundation in Michael’s honor please go to SwiftyFoundation.org, and for more information on either the Chicago Bulls Youth Academy summer camps or Chicago White Sox Youth Academy summer camps, which are coming to over 50 communities in the Chicagoland area, visit BullsSoxAcademy.com or call 630-PLAYBALL.