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AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP


July 19, 2015


Bryan Davis

Steve Griffith

Daria Sharon

Terri Upshaw


STATELINE, NEVADA

THE MODERATOR:  This is one of the favorite press conferences we have every year in this room, and it's great to have everybody back.  Terri Upshaw is here.  Our scholarship winner, Daria Sherone, is here.  Steve Griffith is representing NBC Sports, and Mr.Bryan Davis from Edgewood Tahoe.
We'd like to thank you all for being here.  This is the seventh year this scholarship was established.  Back then, seven years ago when NBC Sports and Edgewood got together and said, hey, we want to honor the memory of Gene Upshaw who passed away from pancreatic cancer very suddenly.  Gene was at this tournament prior to that and then a few months later, he left us.
So we wanted to honor his memory.  NBC got together with Edgewood and said, hey, let's do something here that would be special.  Edgewood wanted to honor a student here in high school at Whittell High School, on the Nevada side, and award them in Gene's name, someone that represented the type of characteristics that Gene had.
Before we get into the speeches here, I would turn it over to Terri real quick and get her feelings, there's a couple other folks we'd like to introduce.  Daria's folks are here, Leah and Gideon.  And Daniel Upshaw is here.  Thank you for coming, Daniel.  Carol Chaplin is here from the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, who works very diligently on this program and also Estella, the counselor, where are you?  There we go.  Why don't we get it underway.  Terri, this is the seventh time we've done this wonderful presentation, and you've been here for every one of them.
We appreciate you coming down.  Tell us what this scholarship award means to you in the memory of Gene.
TERRI UPSHAW:¬† Thank you.¬† It's always an honor to be here.¬† Edgewood, this tournament represents a lot in me personally.¬† Brings back a lot of memories of Gene playing here and having just a wonderful time.¬† He always just really enjoyed being at the lake with a group of people‑‑ Bryan, NBC Steve, and all the people here.
This scholarship award represents a lot of what Gene thought about our young students and youth of today.  It's about academics.  It's about athletics and it's about community service.  And Daria, you represent that.
It is an honor, really, to be here and to see so many faces that are familiar, and then also to meet a young recipient who is‑‑ you'll hear about her accomplishments, and I'm always blown away by what a young student can do these days.¬† Congratulations.
DARIA SHARON:  Thank you very much.
THE MODERATOR:  Bryan Davis, with Edgewood Tahoe, why don't you tell us about Edgewood Company's involvement in this scholarship as well.
BRYAN DAVIS:  We're blessed and lucky to be able to participate in this and we started this seven years ago, obviously.  With Gary Quinn coming and speaking with us and this partnership has really been, obviously lasting 26 years with the tournament but seven years with this scholarship.  And Edgewood focuses their charitable contributions mainly on youth and education.  So this fits right into our core values and our donations.
One of the things that really stood out for us was your essay, the way you encourage teamwork and organization and leadership, not to mention the numerous activities which, like Terri just mentioned, amazing that someone can be that active with 24 hours in a day.  If we could all be that productive that would be pretty fantastic.
But to look through that ‑‑ and one of the other things too that stood out was the encouragement you give your fellow teammates, when you talked about softball and how the other sports that you do, very impressive.¬† You impressed our committee that looked at the application.¬† So we congratulate you and we look forward to continue to participate in this scholarship every year.
DARIA SHARON:  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.
THE MODERATOR:  Steve Griffith, representing NBC Sports.  Steve we know that Gary Quinn was very close to Gene Upshaw and that's where this idea germinated.  Take us through NBC's involvement through this over the years.
STEVE GRIFFITH:¬† I remember the memos, the early e‑mails when the idea was put forth, and how e‑mails kept coming back that same day saying, we're in, we're in, from all the parties. ¬†And that, of course, is a tribute to Gene.
Gary Quinn, who is a driving force behind this tournament, as we all know, and Gene were real close.  I was privileged to know Gene.  And I know that Terri and I, about three years ago, we were talking here before the press conference about how the NFLPA was better off back in the day when Gene was the man.
So that may still be true today.¬† But NBC has been committed to the Lake Tahoe community from day one.¬† And this is another manifestation of that.¬† And our ability to bring it home with the youth of the area‑‑ and I'm sort of a recreational coach, and my son played high school basketball.¬† And as much as you hear that people talk about how the hard work of people who are involved in sports in high school, I still‑‑ because I saw it firsthand, I still don't people really understand how many hours you put in especially daily practice and all the intensity and all the work that goes into it.
So I'm always stunned by the people who combine athletic and academic excellence.  And I'm sitting next to one right now.
THE MODERATOR:  Speaking of that, let's give background.  This is a $5,000 award which recognizes excellence in leadership, sports and academic.  And our recipient this year has excelled in every one of those areas.  As Terri mentioned, it's always amazing when you hear about these kids' accomplishments.  I'm flashing back to when I was that age and a 3.0 was something.  I'm looking at this and I'm going, wow, 4.0 cumulative GPA throughout the past three years while taking multiple advanced placement classes.
She's actively participated in sports programs, playing on the soccer, softball and basketball teams.¬† Her hard work and dedication this past year earned the title of all‑state defensive MVP.¬† Here student body and leadership abilities, which is key in this award, quite frankly, resulted in her being elected as student body vice president.¬† A very worthy honoree, Daria Sharon.
(Applause)
DARIA SHARON:  Thank you very much.  First of all, I want to say thank you to Miss Upshaw and NBC Sports and Edgewood, also to Mr. Weidinger, CarolChaplin and Miss Gerlinger and, of course, my parents for supporting me and getting me involved in everything at first.  It's just an incredible honor to be associated with such a great man as Mr.Upshaw was.
I didn't know him, but I could just tell what an incredible man he was through his accomplishments and all of his achievements.  He was a great leader on and off the field.  He had a very selfless attitude, which you could tell through his help with the NFL Players Association and his help with medical research and treatment.  And it's really an honor to be linked to his legacy.  And thank you very much for all of this.
STEVE GRIFFITH:  Where are we going to college?
DARIA SHARON:  My dream school is Stanford.  I haven't applied yet.
STEVE GRIFFITH:  You're still young.

Q.  Daria, first off congratulations.  Could you go over again what this award means to you and how excited were you when you found out that you had received it?
DARIA SHARON:  I was really excited.  I got a call from Carol Chaplin, actually.  And it was great because I know that there are a lot of great students and leaders in my grade, and just to be able to represent Mr.Upshaw with my leadership, my academics and my athletics is an incredible honor.

Q.  For your essay would you mind just going over that for us and kind of what you wrote about?
DARIA SHARON:  I just talked about how I showed my leadership on the soccer team, running the defense.  And on the softball I received the most inspirational award last year, always cheering everyone on because it's important not only to help yourself but to help others because it's a team sport.  You can't do anything without being together and being cheered on.

Q.  What kind of activities were you involved in outside of sports and school?  Incredibly you found the time to do it.
DARIA SHARON:  I do community service.  I'm actually helping Soroptimists at this golf tournament.  I'm in Key Club and National Honor Society, and just helping with all of those clubs, helping the community.

Q.  I can only assume this is your first press conference, and you're nailing it.
DARIA SHARON:  Thank you.

Q.  Just add that to the list.  But really all that you've accomplished at such a young age, it requires some kind of motivation, waking up in the morning.  Your parents can only get you up so much.  You've got to get yourself up.  You obviously can do that.  I'm curious, what is your drive?  We spoke to an athlete who was saying he was all about getting an education.  He went from bowling to football to further his education.  What drives you so much?  What is your motivation?
DARIA SHARON:  Just knowing that everything that I'm doing now while I'm still young, healthy, able to do it all, and while I go to Whittell and have an opportunity to play so many sports and be in so many clubs, it's only going to help me in my future and to, yeah, create a good future for myself and to help others.

Q.  The parents, what's it feel like to have a $5,000 scholarship to help out a little bit.
LEAH SHARON:  First of all, thank you to everybody and to the community.  And I think that it's not always about the money, although it helps a lot.
It's about being proud of what our young child is doing and will still do and that's how we feel about her.
THE MODERATOR:  There's a great award right there.  Congratulations to you, Daria.  You are a worthy recipient and you are way ahead of the curve.  Congratulations.

Q.  Daria, I just wanted to know, do you have any thoughts about what you'd like to do when you're 30 or 40 or 50 years old?  Seems like you have a lot of good things going for you right now.  But have you started to zero in on anything?
DARIA SHARON:¬† Right now I'm trying to figure out where I want to go to college and what I want to study there.¬† And I think I've decided on something business‑related.¬† So hopefully that will carry me through‑‑ I can find a good job after college and be able to support myself and hopefully a good family.
THE MODERATOR:  Daria, congratulations.  Terri, thank you.  Steve, Bryan, way to go.  Nicely done.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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