Two of the brightest names in Seattle sports history, Lenny Wilkens and Edgar Martinez, will be among the honorees at the 78th annual MTR Western Sports Star of the Year Jan. 25 at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle.
Wilkens, a former all-star player who coached the 1979 NBA champion SuperSonics, will be honored with the Paul Allen Award, given to an individual who has made a significant or compelling contribution to the local community. Wilkens’ foundation has given more than $3 million in the past decade to provide health care and education for Seattle-area children.
Martinez, Mariners third baseman and designated hitter, will be honored with the Royal Brougham Legend Award, given to an individual for a lifetime of achievement in sports who exemplifies the spirit of Washington. Martinez was a seven-time All-Star during his 18-year Major League Baseball career, all in Seattle.
Wilkens and Martinez were among honorees designated for recognition with five annual awards from the Seattle Sports Commission’s Sports Star committee, composed of local sports historians, media members and business leaders active in the sports industry.
Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer was named Sports Executive of the Year, given to an individual for contributions to the success of the regional sports industry. Hanauer was the architect of Seattle’s Major League Soccer franchise, internationally recognized as a model of success, on and off the field, and in November reached the MLS Western Conference finals for the first time.
Bob Rondeau is this year’s winner of the Keith Jackson Award, given to a member of the media for excellence in communicating the sports stories of Washington. Rondeau has been the play-by-play voice of the Washington Huskies since 1980 for football and 1985 for basketball. He is a five-time state Sportscaster of the Year as voted by the state chapter of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.
The Seattle Children’s Inspirational Youth Award, given to a student who inspired through sports, goes to Josh Dickerson, O’Dea High School baseball player. Dickerson continued playing baseball rather than undergoing chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer that could have potentially lengthened his life by only a few months. He made first-team All-Metro two months before he died at 18.
Tickets to the show can be purchased at the Benaroya Hall box office, at www.benaroyahall.org or by calling 206-215-4747. Premium tickets are $100, reserved are $80, and include access to the show and the VIP reception. Show-only tickets can be purchased for $35.
Public voting is underway online for fans to select their favorite nominee in the categories of Professional, Male, Female and Sports Story of the Year. The ballot is found at www.sportsstaroftheyear.org. Voting continues through 5 p.m. Jan. 18. Winners will be announced during the event.
To learn more about the MTR Western Sports Star of the Year, visit www.sportsstaroftheyear.org.