Gyasi Williams, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica, has won the 2007 Major League Baseball (MLB) S.T.A.R. Award, presented to Boys & Girls Club members throughout the country who have demonstrated an all-around positive attitude in after-school sports, fitness and recreation programs.

He was recently presented with a certificate of recognition at a club ceremony and is now eligible to advance to state competition.

The Major League Baseball S.T.A.R. Award program operates on local, state, regional and national levels. Each of the approximately 1,300 Boys & Girls Club organizations throughout the country has been charged with selecting just one overall S.T.A.R. youth from ten to 18 years old who exhibits the characteristics of a leader.

The award recognizes club members who lead by example, demonstrate sportsmanship, team spirit, achievement and responsibility on the playing field, at the swimming pool, in the game room or in the dance studio, club officials said.

Williams, a 14-year-old student attending New Roads Middle School in Santa Monica, excels in the classroom and on the basketball court and has been a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica for four years, club officials said.

“Gyasi Williams is a great kid with excellent sportsmanship and he displays excellent leadership qualities, and compassion for his teammates,” said Brandon LaBrie, Santa Monica Boys & Girls Clubs athletic director.

Williams now qualifies to compete for the state S.T.A.R. honor. The 50 state winners and one military winner will be honored by Major League Baseball and vie for six regional spots, earning them the opportunity to attend the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in July.

One national winner will be invited to a World Series game in October, where they will be introduced to Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and recognized for their achievement. The Major League Baseball S.T.A.R. Award program is the latest addition to the decade-long relationship between Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Major League Baseball.

Over the past ten years, Major League Baseball has recognized Boys & Girls Clubs of America as the league’s “official charity,” resulting in an annual public service announcement campaign valued at more than $75 million to date.

During this time, Major League Baseball has also showcased outstanding Boys & Girls Club members during the All Star Game and World Series.

Information about the Major League S.T.A.R. Award and other youth club programs, Brandon LaBrie, at (310) 393-9629.

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