ORLANDO, Fla. (March 16, 2016) – The best in amateur athletics will battle for the nation’s top prize this week, as seven finalists – Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, World Champion gymnast Simone Biles. Pat Tillman Award winner Keenan Reynolds, NCAA Volleyball Champion Mikaela Foecke, Gold Medalist Brittany Bowe, three-time NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player Breanna Stewart and USOC Male SportsMan of the Year Jordan Burroughs – were announced today by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
“Being a finalist for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award is a unique privilege for all our finalists,” said Melissa Willis, AAU Sullivan Award National Chair. “Our six finalists this year embody the extraordinary success and high character athlete this award was created to honor.”
Voting for the award is open to the public at www.aausullivan.org. Finalist voting opens today and will close on March 23. The AAU James E. Sullivan Award presentation will be held at the New York Athletic Club on Sunday, April 10.
The AAU Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Representatives from the AAU created the Sullivan Award with the intent to recognize amateur contributions and achievements from non-professional athletes across the country.
World renowned golfer Robert “Bobby” Jones received the inaugural award in 1930 and swimmer Anne Curtis became the first female to accept the award in 1944. Other notable athletes to win the award include famed Olympians Mark Spitz (1971), Carl Lewis (1981), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986) and Michael Phelps (2003). Former UCLA basketball star Bill Walton (1973) and University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning (1997) have also earned the prestigious honor.
"As one of the largest multi-sport organizations in the nation, this award is really the epitome of what the AAU represents,” said Dr. Roger Goudy, President/CEO of the AAU. "Part of the mission of the AAU is to provide a venue for amateur athletes to promote good sportsmanship and good citizenship. Each of our six finalists – and the winners that came before them – truly embodies that mission.”
ABOUT THE AAU:
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest- non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports programs. Founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in sports, the AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by nearly 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 35 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts. For more information, visit www.aausports.org.
Cody Norman, AAU Public Relations & Social Media Coordinator