Maurice Torres: a Courageous Student Athlete

Maurice Torres (right) with 1996 Heisman Trophy winner and NCAS Hall of Fame inductee Danny Wuerffel.

Maurice Torres, a junior with the Red Hawks men’s basketball team, was recently named the recipient of the Giant Steps Courageous Student-Athlete Award for 2007 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports at its 10th Annual Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida. This national award is given in recognition of students who have overcome obstacles or challenges in their lives and succeeded in athletics and academics, their pursuit of life goals and their commitment to the community.

At the event, Torres was lauded and sought out by some of the top names in collegiate sports, both past and present, who took the time to congratulate him on his honor. “The experience was amazing,” said Torres. “Just being able to meet other individuals and families who have had their own struggles and, through the grace of God overcame them, was great."

Torres’ story of personal courage is one of great inspiration. When he was only four years old, Torres and his mother were homeless and had to sleep in alleyways while his sisters stayed with relatives. On the streets, he was forced to witness drug use, violence and prostitution before eventually being moved to the foster care system.

Determined to keep the family together, Torres moved from home to home until he and his sisters found a loving family that could provide for them all.  They spent two years there before being sent to an orphanage for a year until they were taken in—and eventually adopted—by the Davis family.

Torres, the first in his family to go to college, has excelled in both sports and academics at Montclair State.  He also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and tutors middle school children. He is president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and participates in many other activities.  A campus leader and a role model, Torres is a true asset to the University community.