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  • Greater Cleveland Sports Awards Celebrate Best of Cleveland Sports

    CLEVELAND (Jan. 28, 2016) – The 16th Annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards presented by Medical Mutual and FirstMerit honored the best of Cleveland sports Thursday night at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard – a graduate of Cleveland St. Joseph’s High School – hosted a sell-out crowd of over 1,200.

    The event is the primary annual fundraiser for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. The Sports Commission, a 501c(3) non-profit, aims to improve the economy, image and quality of life in Greater Cleveland by attracting, managing and creating major sporting events.

    16th Annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards Finalists – WINNERS IN BOLD
    High School Athlete of the Year presented by University Hospitals Sports Medicine
    Esa Ahmad, Basketball, Shaker Heights High School
    Alecia Farina, Gymnastics, Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School
    Hallie Thome, Basketball, Chagrin Falls High School

    Amateur Athlete of the Year
    Tianna Bartoletta, USA Track and Field, Elyria
    Emily Infeld, USA Track and Field, University Heights
    Cleveland Baseball Federation Softball Team – 2015 RBI World Series Champion

    Collegiate Athlete of the Year
    Connor Cook, Football, Michigan State University, Hinckley
    University of Mount Union Football Team
    Nathan Tomasello, Wrestling, Ohio State University, Parma
    Aaron White, Basketball, University of Iowa, Strongsville

    Professional Athlete of the Year presented by FOX Sports Ohio
    Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
    Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns
    LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Cleveland sports broadcaster Jim Donovan was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Donovan has been the sports anchor at WKYC for 31 years and the radio play-by-play voice for the Cleveland Browns since 1991. In a special moment, broadcast partner Doug Dieken and Browns quarterback Josh McCown presented Donovan with the award.

    The Cleveland Clinic Courage Award was presented to Westlake teenager Colin Teets by legendary boxing promotor Don King. Teets suffered a debilitating brain injury eight years ago while playing hockey. After numerous surgeries, having to be revived twice, and years of rehabilitation to learn basic motor functions, Colin returned to the ice last winter as a member of the Westlake High School varsity hockey team. He would go on to score a goal during a game at Quicken Loans Arena. Colin’s full story can be found at

    Cleveland Indians’ Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis awarded the Amateur Athlete of the Year award to the Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI Softball Team. During their acceptance speech, the team representatives were surprised by over a dozen other Indians’ players.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers playoff run was named Horseshoe Casino Cleveland Best Moment in Cleveland Sports. Broadcasters Austin Carr, John Michael, and Rafael Hernandez Brito accepted the award on behalf of the Cavs.