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May 26, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Men’s lacrosse junior midfielder Andrew Bender has been selected to represent Ohio State at the 2005 NCAA Leadership Conference May 29-June 2 in Orlando, Fla. Bender, from Wooster, Ohio (Wooster H.S.), will join almost 325 other student-athletes from around the country at the annual event.

“I’m honored to be selected,” Bender said. “It’s a great opportunity to learn leadership techniques I will be able to transfer back to Ohio State and the lacrosse team.”

The NCAA Leadership Conference provides NCAA student-athletes with a forum to openly discuss issues that may affect them on their campuses and in their communities, while also providing them with the opportunity to enhance their leadership, communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills. The leadership conference also promotes better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities. The five-day conference consists of daily exercises and activities to help the student-athletes develop as individuals and as contributing members to a group.

The conference is an outreach of the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program and involves close to 325 student-athletes each year who compete in fall, winter and spring sports in Divisions I, II and III. Many of the student-athletes who participate are members of their conference and campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committees. Each NCAA member institution that has a CHAMPS/Life Skills Program is encouraged to nominate student-athletes from their campus for the annual leadership conference.

Bender earned second team All-Great Western Lacrosse League honors this season after leading the team with a career-best 14 assists. He also posted a career-high 23 points in 14 games. Bender, a finance major, is a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and will be a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.