LEXINGTON – Kentucky sophomore pitcher Alex Degen was named to the 2020 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team, the league announced Monday.
Degen, who hails from Readington Township, New Jersey, has completed 125 hours of community service this academic year, including 102 during the fall semester. He is deeply involved with the Ronald McDonald House, where he has served dinner, cleaned residents’ rooms, washed dishes and more. The social work major also has served at a local elementary school as a mentor for children with difficult home situations and who were showing signs of falling behind in school, as well as with God’s Pantry.
“Being named the SEC Community Service Team is very special to me,” Degen said. “I’m very appreciative of the SEC for recognizing me, as well as the many people who have instilled the importance of service into my life.
“I would especially like to thank the Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass, God’s Pantry, Lil’ Heart Sluggers and Millcreek Elementary School for the amazing service opportunities they have provided me. The University of Kentucky and the city of Lexington have impacted my life in so many positive ways and I can’t thank them enough for that.”
Degen comes from a family of service, which has instilled in him a calling to helping others.
“My dad (Ken) has been a long-time volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey,” Degen said. “My mom (Liz) knits blankets and donates them to hospitals, and my sister (Allie) currently is in the second year of an internship program with the nonprofit Teach for America where she is placed in underprivileged communities and tasked with teaching science at the elementary school level. Service runs to the core of my family’s mission and belief system.”
Degen also excelled on the diamond in the shortened 2020 season, posting a 2.51 earned run average with a save in five appearances. He struck out 19 batters and walked just four in 14.1 innings as one of the Wildcats’ most effective arms out of the bullpen.
“Alex is the epitome of a servant leader,” UK coach Nick Mingione said. “His dedication to selflessly helping others is inspiring. We ask the young men in our program to be role models on and off the field and Alex is a shining example of that.”
More information on the Lexington branch of the Ronald McDonald House can be found at rmhclexington.com.
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