Greenville, SC. - Central Baptist College's Joshua Buczek has been selected as the 2016 Hank Burbridge Unlimited Potential Outstanding Leadership Award recipient. The award is the most prestigious given to a baseball player in the NCCAA.
The purpose of the award is to honor the NCCAA's Outstanding Christian Baseball Player of the Year with potential Christian service through baseball. In order to be eligible for this award, a student-athlete must be at least a junior; possess and demonstrate, outstanding leadership qualities; possess and demonstrate outstanding athletic ability; and possess and demonstrate a vibrant and clear Christian testimony on and off the field.
Buczek, a senior from Donalsonville, Georgia, came to CBC after his freshman season at Emmanuel College where he was named the Southern States Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. Conway was a family affair with his older brothers, Samuel Buczek (also a former Mustang player) and Associate Head Coach Jonathan Buczek, all making the trip with Head Coach Dr. Aaron Brister. He is a Sports Management major and currently has a 3.49 GPA.
Other recognitions during Buczek's college career include:
2015 - Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) First Team All-Conference (shortstop), MCAC All-Tournament Team, MCAC Scholar Athlete, NCCAA Central Region First Team, NCCAA Second Team All-American, NCCAA Scholar Athlete, Central Baptist College Dean's List
2016 – American Midwest Conference (AMC) All-Academic Team, NAIA Champion of Character Award (Baseball-CBC), Central Baptist College Dean's List.
Joshua hasn't just spent his time in the classroom or ball field, his efforts in the community are endless. He has served at his local high school in camps that teach baseball skills and teach youth how to use sports in a Christ-centered way. He is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and has participated in various events. He served as a student-ministry intern for Conway's First Baptist Church and as an interim youth pastor during the summer at Friendship United Methodist Church in Donalsonville. Buczek has a gift for music and has used his talents as a drummer to be a part of praise bands in his hometown church and in Conway.
Coach Brister had this to say when he was notified about the award, "Josh Buczek has been a key player that I have built this program around. I knew when Josh and Sam decided to follow me to CBC that God was going to do something very special in both of their lives. Josh is the perfect example of the type of man I want to recruit for my program. He is excellent in the classroom, excellent in the weight room, excellent on the practice field, excellent in the game, and puts Jesus as #1 in his life. It is very rare to find a player with all of those qualities. I am blessed to have coached him."
This is the first time a Mustang has received the award, founded in 1990.
Unlimited Potential, Inc. is an organization that ministers to baseball programs around the world "serving Christ through Baseball". Hank Burbridge was the long time baseball coach at Spring Arbor University and mentor/leader in NCCAA as well as NAIA baseball.
Burbridge's contributions to baseball and athletics-both at Spring Arbor University and on a national level-proved invaluable during his 40 year tenure. He compiled an overall coaching record of 1,003-519, becoming only the fourth coach in NAIA history to record 1,000 career victories. Under Burbridge's direction, the Cougars participated in 20 National Christian College Athletic Association national tournaments, winning the title four times. The Cougars also made three trips to the NAIA national championships. Burbridge passed away on Feb. 18, 2005, after a long battle with cancer.
Darryl McPhate ll Sports Information ll Central Baptist College