COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Department of Athletics has once again partnered with local school districts in Central Ohio for home women’s basketball games throughout the season to promote and recognize the academic accomplishments and positive behavior of students in the area while providing them the opportunity to attend a collegiate athletic event for free.

The Character Counts program, now in its second year, helps establish positive role models for Columbus’ youth and emphasizes the importance of school, going to college and highlights the team’s 100 percent graduation rate since 1998.

“This is a great program for young kids to take part in,” head coach Jim Foster said. “Not only does it stress the importance of academics and give kids the opportunity to interact with our players, it also allows our student-athletes to give back and be role models on and off the court.”

The next Character Counts game is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 6 vs. Northwestern when 10 of the 25 participating schools will be on hand.  After the game, all kids 8th grade and below are invited to shoot layups on the court and will also have the opportunity to meet All-American Samantha Prahalis at the postgame “Get to Know Her” autograph session.

All students 8th grade and under have received an order form good for one (1) free ticket to their selected game and the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets for friends and family. Members of each school will be placed in group seating at the game.

In-school advertising includes a game-specific poster to hang in the front office, morning announcements on DVD/CD’s featuring Ohio State student-athletes and a personal sales representative to answer any questions the school may have.

Each school will also have the opportunity to select one (1) male student, one (1) female student and one (1) staff member to be recognized at their game. Recognition criteria for each school will be determined on an individual basis and recipients will receive a Buckeye Character Counts certificate following their in-game recognition.

If your school is interested in partnering with the Department of Athletics next year to recognize the academic accomplishments and positive behavior of your students, please contact Athletic Ticket Sales at (614) 292-0043.

Program Assets:
• FREE to schools and their students
• Instills quality characteristics in their students
• DVD’s and CD’s have been created highlighting Ohio State women’s basketball players describing different character traits and what those traits means to them
• Provides exposure to positive role models and the opportunity to experience a collegiate athletic event
• Three lucky schools will win a post season assembly with the team, where Ohio State women’s basketball players will come speak to the school about the topics above and show off some of their skills

Selected games include:
Virginia 12/2 (1 school)
Oklahoma 12/5 (1 school)
Michigan State 1/16 (11 schools)
Iowa 1/24 (1 schools)
Northwestern 2/6 (10 schools)
Penn State 2/17 (1 school)