At the 56th annual TCU Bi-County Basketball Tournament on Saturday night, Jaelyn Bules of Triton Junior-Senior High School and Hunter Smith of New Prairie High School were announced as the 2021 recipients of the W.B. Hawkins Award.
Established nearly 20 years ago in honor of the man who served as TCU’s President and CEO from 1962 to 1987, the award exemplifies all that W.B. Hawkins stood for, and annually recognizes both a boys and a girls recipient for outstanding achievement in academics, leadership and community service.
A World War II veteran who played minor league baseball, W.B. Hawkins embodied a spirit of service and drew on the lessons of athletics — work ethic, sportsmanship, leadership — in leading TCU’s extensive growth, while also expanding its community impact.
Jaelyn Bules: Her work ethic not only makes herself better in volleyball, basketball, and softball, but inspires those around her to push themselves to new heights as well. As a student, she defines what it means to be a student-athlete, ranking second in her class with a 4.111 grade-point average. An active member in numerous school clubs — including science, art, Spanish, National Honor Society and student council — Bules has spent countless hours volunteering at community events and camps. Her tireless efforts have made a positive impact through service work, the mentoring of young athletes and even umpiring at youth softball games. This is all in addition to her active involvement in the youth ministries at her church.
Hunter Smith: A peer tutor, Little League umpire and concession stand worker at youth basketball leagues, Smith is willing to do whatever it takes to improve the experience of others. He’s volunteered his time to support a variety of events and organizations, including Special Olympics, Memorial Children’s Hospital and during the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting isolated residents at Miller’s Merry Manor. He’s active within the school community as well, serving in the Student Senate, Key Club, and judging the Middle School science fair — all while compiling an academic record worthy of membership in the National Honor Society and playing multiple varsity sports, including track and field, as well as basketball. An excellent water skier as well, he qualified for the 2020 U.S. Nationals.