OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) _ Former Kansas senator Bob Dole will receive the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award, the organization's highest individual honor, next month in Atlanta.

The award is presented each year to a former college athlete who demonstrates a ``continuing interest and concern for physical fitness and sport,'' the NCAA said in a news release Thursday.

Dole, a Russell, Kan., native, will receive the honor Jan. 11 during the NCAA's 1998 convention. Dole will be the 32nd recipient of the award.

Dole enrolled at the University of Kansas in 1941 and played basketball under legendary coach Phog Allen. He also lettered in track and played football for two years before leaving the school in 1942 to serve in World War II.

Dole was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1968 and remained there until 1996 when he resigned his seat to run for president.