NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball will have a presence at the 2016 Men's Final Four in Houston this weekend.
Senior Jeff Laidig (Mishawaka, Ind.) will represent Belmont University as part of the 2016 Allstate NABC Works Team®.
One of the most prestigious awards in all of college basketball, the Allstate Good Works Team® honors college basketball athletes that have dedicated themselves to bettering the lives of others through giving back to their communities.
From a record-setting 154 nominees received by the NABC in December, Laidig was one of five honorees from NCAA Division I men's basketball.
Laidig, a two-time academic all-conference recipient, has been heavily involved in community service throughout his entire career as a Bruin. As a member of Belmont's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and campus branch of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Laidig has spearheaded a number of community service projects in the Nashville area, and beyond. He has taken part in three mission trips as part of the Belmont Sports Evangelism ministry, two to Haiti and one to Honduras.
Following teammates J.J. Mann and Reece Chamberlain, Laidig spent two years as a 'Best Buddies' mentor - sharing life experiences with children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Indiana native began a "bus stop ministry" while in high school - handing out sandwiches and water at the bus terminal - and has carried that on during his college career.
He has also volunteered as a reading mentor at a Nashville area elementary school and has served as an activities leader at Camp Bruin - an annual fitness and wellness awareness day around NCAA National Student-Athlete Day.
Laidig is a regular volunteer server and table busser at the Nashville Rescue Mission, and took part in the last two "Amy Grant's Mission" initiatives, distributing food and supplies to the homeless community. And in his capacity on the Belmont Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Laidig has worked on numerous service projects, including Belmont's 'Battle of the Bruins' talent show benefitting Special Olympics, holiday food and toy drives, and Hoops for Heroes.
As part of their experience, the 2016 Allstate NABC Works Team® will take part in a community service project with Special Olympics of Texas.
The team will also participate in an on-court recognition during the first National Semifinal Saturday night.
In addition, Belmont alumnus Tom Eades ('77) was selected as one of 10 officials to work the Men's Final Four.
Eades, who officiated the 2010 National Championship game between Duke and Butler, will be working his fifth Men's Final Four.