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‘I just want to be the best I can be’: GHS senior Ming Hampton named Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year

June 7, 2018 at 8:00 am

Ming Hampton, fourth from left, was named the Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year on Monday, June 4. Ming was one of 18 students inducted into the awards program this school year. He was joined at Monday’s ceremony by his family, coaches and Strovis personnel. (Photo by Mark A. Stevens)

By Mark A. Stevens
Strovis Chief Marketing Officer

For Ming Hampton, striving for excellence is just part of the daily routine.

His family knows it. His coaches recognize it. He demands it of himself.

“I just want to be the best I can be,” the 2018 Georgetown High School graduating senior said Monday, June 4, after being named the Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year.

Ming is one of 18 student-athletes inducted during the 2017-2018 school year into the Strovis Character Counts Awards program. Each student-athlete, nominated by his or her coaches, received a certificate and a $50 cash prize when inducted.  The program is co-sponsored by the GHS Athletics Booster Club.

As a celebration of the inaugural year of the awards program, Strovis announced that it would also select one of the 18 honorees to receive an additional $250 cash prize and be named the Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year.

“All of our honorees were worthy recipients,” said Strovis CEO Jenna Jordan. “They hold good characteristics, after all, as their coaches have said. We wanted to celebrate this first year of the program with an extra-special award at the conclusion of the school year.

“When we selected Ming to receive our Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year Award, we knew we were choosing a young man of outstanding character. I remember when we gave him his first award how polite and inquisitive he was. He showed us right away that his coaches had made a great choice.”

WATCH A VIDEO OF THE PRESENTATION HERE: Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year Presentation.

Nominated by Coach Ron Lanham, Ming was inducted earlier this year into the awards program as a member of the Bulldogs wrestling team.

Lanham said he had no doubt who his nominee would be.

“It’s my first year here,” the coach said, “and Ming is just one of those great kids you come across once in awhile during your career, and I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. You meet these kids that just exude that personality you’re looking for in an athlete and a captain. And Ming was that student here.

“From the start, he impressed me as the guy that I was going to be looking to be the leader of our team. His work ethic and his drive are outstanding. From the day he found out I was going to be the wrestling coach, he was texting me and calling me and asking, ‘How can we make this even better?’ He has a plan laid out for wrestling, but he also has a plan laid out for his life.”

Lanham said Ming has a drive to succeed.

“He and I talked a lot about future plans, and we talked a lot about this is where you are now and where he wants to be in five years, 10 years,” he said. “It was real obvious that he’s got leadership qualities but also the internal qualities to be a self-starter. Throughout the season, he took younger kids underneath his wing and brought them along to the point where they were successful.

“He’s one of those rare guys that you just know that there’s nothing that’s going to stop him.”

Joedy Cook, a coach and co-athletic director at GHS, attended the ceremony to induct Ming as the Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year.

“Within the athletic department,” Cook said, “the Strovis Character Counts program has really given the coaches something to look forward to.

“A lot of times in athletics, character is preached, but it’s not often rewarded as much as other things in athletics. But it’s important to show the kids that there are rewards for having good character. … What’s been even more rewarding has been the smile on the kids’ faces afterward, knowing that somebody has actually paid attention and they’re being recognized about doing things the proper way.

“The Strovis Character Counts program, we really do appreciate it all so very much.”

Ming was born in New York City and grew up in Atlanta. He and his family moved to Georgetown four years ago.

As the Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year, Ming said he is grateful to be recognized not only for his athleticism but also for how he conducts himself in day-to-day life.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I just never forget where I came from. Growing up on the streets of New York, I knew that the odds were against me. Success, I had to learn that it’s not just given in any way, shape or form. I knew I had to earn it.

“I love to compete, be that in wrestling or in having good character. My dad always told me to be the best man that I can be, and I guess I’ve been rewarded for doing that.”

Ming said his four years at GHS were the longest he had ever spent at one school without moving.

“We moved here when I started ninth grade, and this was the first school where I didn’t have to switch schools almost each grade year,” he said. “We moved so many times before that during elementary school. I changed schools each year kindergarten all the way to fifth grade, so I’d make friends and then have to make new friends.

“It was so amazing when we came here and I got to stay at Georgetown High School for all four years.”

Ming has applied to The Citadel. He also hopes to go into the real estate business as a career. True to his nature, he was quick to offer praise and gratitude to others.

“I just want to say how much I appreciate anyone who’s helped me since Day One,” he said. “I am grateful for all the people who helped me and supported me — that’s all of my coaches, my family, my friends who came out to watch my matches, everybody.”

When Strovis CEO Jenna Jordan presented Ming with his award certificate and a $250 check, Ming smiled and said, “Wow! This is amazing!”

Following the ceremony, he repeated his appreciation again.

“This award is an honor, it really is,” Ming said. “I’m going to take it and run with it.”

Jordan added, “We are so proud of Ming. We have been impressed with his humble spirit and his appreciation for the award. It is obvious to me that his family has instilled amazing character in him, and we know these things start at home. The true definition of good character is how we behave when no one is looking. I have a feeling that Ming lives up to that every day.”

Strovis is headquartered in Georgetown. From its 1309 Highmarket St. corporate office, the company oversees three divisions: Strovis Payroll & HR, Strovis Benefits and Strovis Insurance, an independent agency.

In addition to Georgetown, the company has offices in Murrells Inlet, Summerville and Mount Pleasant and has served clients in 32 states.

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