Imani McDonald has been an incredible leader since she was captaining the Long Beach Poly High girls’ soccer team. On Thursday, the Long Beach State senior goalkeeper was one of six student-athletes chosen for the Big West Service and Leadership awards.
“It feels amazing to start my senior year with such a huge accomplishment,” McDonald said. “My Beach family continues to push me to be the best person I can be on and off the field. I’m so blessed to be able to give back to a community that’s helped me so much, and hopefully leave it a better place.”
According to the conference, the first Service and Leadership awards were given to honor, “Someone who engages consistently in service and leadership activities that impact the campus, community and region and someone who makes the most of opportunities presented to them by taking on key roles, remaining innovative in seeking out meaningful service and leadership opportunities.”
While at LBSU, McDonald has served as an executive for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was elected as an ASI Senator At-Large by the student body and was named Academic All-Star four times. She was also was one of 13 LBSU student-athletes who participated in this summer’s service trip to Panama to work with Courts for Kids in rural Valle Rico.
“To put the trip into few words would rob the whole experience,” McDonald said. “It was an uplifting, world-altering experience that gave me a more holistic view of the rest of human race. Valle Rico is a community with so little, in terms of American standard, yet is so rich in unity, companionship, and hospitality.”
McDonald was All-CIF and the four-time Moore League Goalkeeper of the Year while at Poly. She has honed her skills with Beach FC, and has appeared in a game in all three seasons since arriving at LBSU. McDonald only lost three of her 11 starts last season while making 35 saves and posting five shutouts.
The other Big West Service and Leadership award winners were Mikaela Francis (CSUF), Allison Loomis (UCI), Kelechi Ohiri (UCD), Chloe Pham of (UCR), and Claire Marie Anderson (Hawai’i).