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SEATTLE –The Seattle Sports Commission (SSC) today announced the winners for the MTR Western Sports Star of the Year Awards, the Northwest’s premier celebration of Washington sports.
Winners were chosen by formula consisting of fan voting and the Sports Star Committee vote, which is compiled of local sports historians, media and others active in the sports industry. Honorees are selected by the Sports Star Committee. This year’s winners are:
Sports Story of the Year: Seahawks’ Super Bowl
The Sports Story of the Year is given to an individual, group of individuals or a team/organization that has positively captured the attention of and inspired the state of Washington. The Seahawks not only won the National Football League championship for the first time, they turned the Super Bowl into an unexpected rout. Their league-best defense overpowered Denver’s league-best offense, 43-8. The whole city celebrated, with an estimated 700,000 turning out for the victory parade
Keith Jackson Award: Steve Raible
The Keith Jackson Award is given to a member of the media for excellence in communicating the sports stories of Washington. Steve Raible is a former Seahawk who has become one of Seattle’s most prominent broadcasters. An Emmy-winning news anchor at KIRO-TV, he has been a member of the Seahawks broadcast team for 33 years, the past 11 as play-by-play announcer — the Voice of the Seahawks.
Wayne Gittinger Inspirational Award Presented by Seattle Children’s: Milton Wright IIIThe Wayne Gittinger Inspirational Award Presented by Seattle Children’s is given to an inspirational young athlete who has overcome major medical obstacles to inspire others. Milton Wright III got what he considered “a death sentence” last year at age 20 – he had leukemia for the third time, despite a total of more than five years of chemotherapy. He agreed to undergo a breakthrough treatment at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and now is cancer-free.
Paul Allen Award: Steve Gleason
The Paul Allen Award is given to an individual who has made a significant or compelling contribution to the local community. Since playing football for the Washington State Cougars and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, Spokane native Steve Gleason has become a source of inspiration and a symbol of courage as he battles ALS. His foundation, Team Gleason, works to raise awareness about the disease.
Royal Brougham Legend Award: Elgin Baylor
The Royal Brougham Legend Award was introduced at the 75th Annual Sports Star of the Year. This award is given to an individual for a lifetime of achievement in sports and exemplifies the spirit of Washington. Elgin Baylor led Seattle U to the NCAA championship game in 1958 and then became one of the greatest players in NBA history. A 6-foot-5 small forward, he was an 11-time All-Star during his Hall of Fame career with the Lakers, and as GM of the Clippers, was 2006 NBA Executive of the Year.
Male Sports Star of the Year: Earl Thomas
The Male Sports Star of the Year is given to a male athlete or coach for outstanding sports achievement in the past year or season. Seahawks safety Earl Thomas is the defender every opposing quarterback needs to worry about. The fifth-year player is known for his intensity, football instincts, tackling ability and, above all, sideline to sideline speed. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and a leader on the NFL’s top defense.
Female Sports Star of the Year: Stephanie Verdoia
The Female Sports Star of the Year is given to a female athlete or coach for outstanding sports achievement in the past year or season. Striker Stephanie Verdoia was named the nation’s top women’s soccer scholar-athlete and a third-team All-American after a record-breaking senior season. The two-time WAC Offensive Player of the Year set Seattle U career and season scoring marks and finished second nationally in goals and points.
To learn more about the MTR Western Sports Star of the Year Awards, visit www.sportsstaroftheyear.org.
For images from the 2015 MTR Western Sports Star of the Year Awards, visit our Dropbox account. http://bit.ly/1uauvQx
The Seattle Sports Commission (SSC), a division of Visit Seattle, is committed to making Seattle a world-class sports community. Sports can bring the world to Seattle and bring our region together. A strong sports culture can strengthen local businesses, local kids, and local pride. www.seattlesports.org.
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