March 15, 2011

Tahnee Robinson is Sullivan Award finalist

Tahnee Robinson a Finalist for Sullivan AwardWhen there were 12 finalists for the prestigious 2010 Sullivan Award, given by the Amateur Athletic Union each year to the person who exemplifies “outstanding athletic abilities and accomplishments, as well as their qualities of sportsmanship, leadership & character evident in his/her lifestyle,” as stated on the AAU site, Tahnee Robison was certainly qualified. The 2010 Sullivan Award applies to accomplishments from the 2010 season, and what a season Robinson had. As a star on the University of Nevada women’s basketball team, she finished 2010 as the eighth-best scorer in the country with 22.7 points per game and 15th in the nation with 3.1 three-pointers per game. She was twice named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week and named MVP of the Caribbean Classic after averaging 24.5 points in two games, shooting 47.2 percent, 17-36 from the field and a total of seven three-pointers, a University of Nevada press release stated. Not only that, Robinson excelled in her classes despite carrying a significant academic load after transferring from Sheridan College last season.

As the only American Indian among the group, (Robinson grew up on the Wind River Reservation in Fort Washakie, Wyo. where she was a McDonald’s and Gatorade All-American) Robinson’s selection as a semi-finalist excited many in both Indian Country and among those who follow the award.
Evan Lysacek wins Sullivan AwardAs the only American Indian in the running for the Sullivan Award, Tahnee Robinson can feel very good about how close she came to the coveted Sullivan Award, a University of Nevada press release reported. However, the honor was bestowed on Olympic gold Medalist Evan Lysacek, who won the 2010 Sullivan Award in a ceremony held at the New York Athletic Club Monday. As a senior captain for the University of Nevada women’s basketball team, Tahnee Robinson made the cut to the five finalists, and was in New York for the presentation. The prestigious award is given annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete, and features such past winners at gymnast Sean Johnson, quarterback Tim Tebow, basketball player J.J. Redick and swimmer Michael Phelps.

The Sullivan Award is often called the “Oscar” of sports awards, and is older than The Heisman. The Amateur Athletic Union’s Sullivan Award honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States and has been presented every year since 1930. It’s named after the founder and past president of the Amateur Athletic Union, and a pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan.
Comment:  For more Native sports honors, see Bradford is Rookie of the Year and Cherokee Chief in Wrestling Hall of Fame.

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