Winner of inaugural Garvin Roberson Student Athlete Award announced

ELKHART, Ind. -- The Elkhart Chapter of the Indiana Black Expo announced the inaugural winner of the Garvin Roberson Student Athlete Award on Sunday.

Garvin Roberson, for whom the award was named, passed away in December.

The award was created by the Indiana Black Expo of Elkhart's president, Robert Taylor, as he considered Garvin Roberson to be one of the greatest athletes to come out of the city of Elkhart.

The expo also noted that while Roberson excelled in athletics, he also performed well in academics as an Honor Society student.

Taylor says that it's an honor for the Indiana Black Expo to remember Roberson with this award. 

"EBE wanted to make sure that the recipient resembled what Garvin really stood for and we wanted to honor him and make him smile," said Taylor.

The award has officially been given to Rodney Gates Jr., a three-sport athlete at Elkhart High School.

Gates Jr. is an All-Northern Indiana Conference standout in football and was selected to the Indiana Football Coaches Association All-Region two team, making him eligible for the Northern Indiana All-Star team.

Beyond his accomplishments on the gridiron, Gates Jr. also qualified for state in track & field and plays for the boys' basketball team at Elkhart High School.

The award presentation ceremony will take place at Elkhart High School on Feb. 20 as a part of the expo's Trailblazer Awards, which honor Elkhart Community Schools top African American students.

According to the expo, the keynote speaker at the event will be community activist and WNBA legend Tamika Devonne Catchings.

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