A member of the Lakota West 2022 state championship softball team has donated $1,000 to the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields.
KK Mathis, the Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year, selected the Miracle League in Fairfield to receive the grant, which is part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. She plans to play softball for James Madison University in the fall.
Mathis is one of 608 Gatorade state players of the year for the 2021-2022 school year. State players of the year are selected from each of the following high school sports: football, volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track and field.
“The Gatorade Player of the Year award highlights student-athletes who set an example both on and off the field,” said Kara Darling, assistant marketing manager for Gatorade Player of the Year. “The grants give these athletes a chance to donate to organizations like the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields that positively impact the youth in their own communities.”
The Nuxhall Foundation runs legacy projects, like the Miracle League, of the late Joe Nuxhall, a former Reds Hall of Fame pitcher and broadcaster. Foundation Executive Director Tyler Bradshaw said Mathis “has proven that she’s a winner. However, the difference between a winner and a true champion is character—and with this donation and her tremendous level of compassion, there is now no doubt that KK Mathis is a champion.
Bradshaw said Mathis has an invitation to come to the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields to pitch to the special needs all-stars.
But Mathis could earn more grant money for the Miracle League as the Gatorade state players of the year can submit a short video explaining why the organization deserves one of 12 $10,000 Spotlight Grants ― one for each high school sport. Those are to be awarded at a later time.