When he's not in class or at practice, Hamilton makes a habit of visiting the hospital weekly to either play video games with youngsters or speak with family members about upcoming surgery. He also spends time counselling troubled teenagers.
"Putting a smile on the face of people, particularly kids, means a great deal to me," said Hamilton. "I'm not a pro athlete, and a 10-year old doesn't know the difference. They just want to speak with someone and know people care about their well-being."
The other nominees are FB Benoit Boulanger from Sherbrooke, quarterback Teale Orban from Regina, and X's Harrison Petropolis, a defensive tackle.
We read in La Tribune that Boulanger, a civil engineering student, put up a 4.25 GPA (out of 4.3), visited schools to promote football, and acted as tutor for some of his teammates. Orban, for whom Jackson was a personal hero, "is an active member of Living Hope Alliance Church, an instructor at the Run the Good Race Christian basketball school and an elementary school basketball referee." Petropolis has volunteered with several organizations, including the Special Olympics and Best Buddies, and "has written the MCAT exam and intends to follow in his father's and brother's footsteps in pursuing a career in medicine."
Congratulations to the nominees, of course. I honestly don't know how voters decide who contributes the most to their community, as it seems like an extremely subjective award, but they must have some process.
(Something I did not know until reading the list of past winners: current TSN analyst Jock Climie won in 1989 with the Golden Gaels.)