Bill Belichick and Stephen Curry have joined the list of guest presenters for the Central Ohio All Star Preps awards show June 18.
“When the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forced us to cancel our in-person show, we knew we had to do something special to recognize the sensational athletes in central Ohio,” said Lee Cochran, ThisWeek Community News managing editor. “Bill Belichick and Stephen Curry round out a lineup of guest presenters that will ensure a fantastic evening that no one will forget.”
Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots and a six-time Super Bowl champion, will present the Coach of the Year award.
Curry, a three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors, will announce the boys and girls basketball Players of the Year.
Other athletes who will be announcing the Players of the Year for each fall and winter sport covered by ThisWeek include:
*Patrick Mahomes, male and female Athletes of the Year
*Venus Williams, tennis
*Michael Phelps, swimming and diving
*Drew Brees, football
*Wayne Gretzky, hockey
*Gabby Douglas, gymnastics
*Jackie Joyner-Kersee, cross country and track and field
*Gary Woodland, golf
*Misty May-Treanor, volleyball
*Jordan Burroughs, wrestling
*Norm Duke, bowling
*Rose Lavelle, soccer
*Jessica Mendoza, softball/baseball
*Keli Smith Puzo, field hockey
TV sports broadcasters Jesse Palmer, Sage Steele, Dr. Jerry Punch and Courtney Cronin will host the show, which will begin at 6 p.m. and is free to watch at thisweeknews.com/allstarpreps.
Registration is not required to watch the live show, during which 247 central Ohio athletes from 22 sports will be honored. In addition, a Player of the Year and a Coach of the Year will be named for each sport. An overall Male and Female Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year will be named.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine has been a sponsor for all previous banquets. Raising Cane’s franchisee RCO Limited is a second-time sponsor, and Branch Insurance is a sponsor for the first time.
“We are excited about the awards show,” Cochran said. “And we also are excited that our sponsors believed in our vision for the virtual show.”
ThisWeek also will participate in a national effort to raise funds locally for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Donate on the event website (thisweeknews.com/allstarpreps) to the “Team Central Ohio Covid Relief Covid Relief.” This national effort will support the United Way, the American Red Cross and Feeding America. The community that raises the most funds by June 20 will receive a matching donation from the USA Today Network, up to $10,000, for those local charities.
Because of the cancellation of spring sports, those athletes will not be honored as Players of the Year or by the announcement of the ThisWeek all-star teams. Instead, there will be a recognition of seniors who missed their final season as part of a national tribute video that will be shown during the broadcast.
The public also can show support for seniors by joining in the national movement with support messages on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #DontStopNow. One person nationally using #DontStopNow will win $1,000 and also $1,000 for the charity of his or her choice. See details on the event website the night of the show for additional information.
Gannett owns and operates the largest high school athlete recognition program in the U.S. Viewers can find various locations, including the Central Ohio All Star Preps show, at sportsawards.usatoday.com, as well as on the event website, thisweeknews.com/allstarpreps.