Finalists announced for Greater Cleveland Sports Awards

Finalists announced for Greater Cleveland Sports Awards
Finalists announced for Greater Cleveland Sports Awards

The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission is proud to announce the finalists for the 2011 Greater Cleveland Sports Awards. Nominees were selected by local media outlets and the top three finalists have been chosen in the following categories: High School Athlete of the Year, Collegiate Athlete of the Year, Amateur Athlete of the Year and Professional Athlete of the Year. The winners in each category will be announced live at the awards ceremony on Thursday, February 2nd at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.

High School Athlete of the Year:

Kareem Hunt - Football, Willoughby South High School

Trey Lewis - Basketball, Garfield Heights High School

Mitch Trubisky - Football, Mentor High School

Collegiate Athlete of the Year:

Norris Cole - Basketball, Cleveland State University

Dustin Kilgore - Wrestling, Kent State University

Men's Soccer Team, University of Akron

Amateur Athlete of the Year:

Jessica Beard - USA Track and Field, Euclid

Justin Harry Lester - USA Wrestling, Akron

Stephen Robbins - USA Masters Track and Field, Cleveland Heights

Professional Athlete of the Year:

Asdrubal Cabrera - Cleveland Indians

Joe Haden - Cleveland Browns

Justin Masterson - Cleveland Indians

Other awards and recognitions will also be presented. Austin Carr, Cleveland Cavaliers Legend and Television Broadcast Game Color Analyst, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award traditionally honors an individual who has advanced sports in Cleveland through personal or career dedication and achievements.  Former recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award include Jim Brown, Mark McCormack, Bob Feller, Richard E. Jacobs, Herbert J. Score, Joe Tait, Chuck Kyle, Bob Kain and Dr. John Bergfeld.

Brandee Kelly, women's basketball player at Cleveland State University, will be awarded the Courage Award presented by Cleveland Clinic. The Courage Award presented by Cleveland Clinic honors exceptional student athletes who have faced a medical challenge in his or her life and approached the situation with courage and determination to get back in the game. During her freshman season, Brandee was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of blood cancer that affects cells of the immune system. In her case, it was found in her bone marrow, and it was spreading throughout her body.

Following her diagnosis, Brandee began the first in a series of chemotherapy treatments that would span four months. She fought through the side effects of the treatment, only missing a few weeks of school. For her final treatment, with her prognosis for beating cancer seemingly strong, Brandee's Cleveland State teammates and coaches joined her as she rang the ceremonial bell at Taussig Cancer Institute. The bell gives notice to everyone in the building that a patient has completed a final treatment session. It also signaled to Vikings fans that a healthy, cancer-free Brandee Kelly would be returning to the floor for her sophomore season.

The 2011 Best Moment in Cleveland Sports presented by Horseshoe Casino will also be recognized at the Sports Awards. Sports fans were asked to submit their nomination on what they believed was the most memorable and exciting moment in Cleveland sports from the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, Indians, high school, collegiate or amateur sports.

Ron and Joan Ganim will receive the Sports Development Gold Medalist Award.  The Sports Development Gold Medalist award recognizes an individual or group who has provided guidance and support through their hosting of championship events with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.  The Ganim's have hosted many national, regional and state-wide gymnastics events including assisting the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission in bringing the USA Gymnastics National Trade Show, Convention and Championships for men and women to Cleveland for the very first time.  They also served as the gymnastics chairs for the 2004 International Children's Games when they were held in Cleveland.  In 2011, Ron and Joan brought the USA Gymnastics Region 5 championships for Level 9 and 10 girls to downtown Cleveland for the first time.