Citizen of the Year means a lot more to the recipient than merely an award — it’s an accomplishment.

Calgary youth basketball coach John Hegwood was not just surprised, but thrilled, when he was not only nominated for, but chosen as Calgary’s 2009 Citizen of the Year — a choice made by a litany of past award recipients and former aldermen.

“I didn’t expect it at all but I feel so honoured. I think I just like to be involved in the community and do what I can because I really enjoy it, so to be recognized for that is amazing,” he said yesterday.

Hegwood is set to receive the award tomorrow night along with another 16 Calgary Award recipients for various honours.

Hegwood was nominated by a fellow Calgarian because of his work with youth as founder and director of the Calgary Youth Development Centre, where he also coaches basketball.

“I just love being part of something and I plan to continue with my work in the community,” he said of the honour.

Hegwood and the other recipients of the 2009 Calgary awards will receive the honours from the city tomorrow night at the Calgary Municipal Building with city council and the mayor.