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The Tom Hammond Kentucky Sports Media Award was presented Thursday to Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate-Messenger.
The ceremony, held as part of the Bluegrass Sports Awards, sponsored by the Bluegrass Sports Commission (BSC) and Alltech, was one of five awards presented. Anthony Davis, former UK basketball player and now a member of the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, was named 2012 Herald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year.
Dick Enberg was presented with the Tom Hammond Award, The Jim Host Sports Business Award was presented to Keeneland legend, Mr. Ted Bassett, and the Jim Host Youth Sports Award honored the late KHSAA commissioner Mr. Louis Stout.
Posted By GARY MOYERS
(Larry doesn’t know about this post yet, but thanks to Amy Ratliff I got my hands on the press release and can announce Larry’s award here)
LEXINGTON – The Bluegrass Sports Commission (BSC) and Alltech are proud to announce the second annual Bluegrass Sports Awards will be held on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa. The evening will feature five prestigious awards given out as a celebration of Kentucky’s rich sports tradition, highlighting the achievements of those who have made an impact on the lives of Kentuckians.
“These award recipients are some of Kentucky’s greatest ambassadors – individuals who have and continue to promote this state around the country and the world,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “Alltech shares the Bluegrass Sports Commission’s vision of bringing world class sporting events to Kentucky, which is why we are delighted to once again support the Bluegrass Sports Awards as the presenting sponsor. As demonstrated by the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the Alltech National Horse Show and our UK men’s basketball program, sports are unmatched in their ability to draw the community together and shine a bright spotlight on our Old Kentucky Home.”
Lexington native and NBC broadcaster Tom Hammond will present a pair of awards bearing his name during the
• The Tom Hammond Award will be given to legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg.
Known as one of the most versatile play-by play announcers in sports broadcasting, Enberg has taken on assignments including NFL football (43 seasons), the Super Bowl (10 times), the Rose Bowl (nine times), the Orange Bowl (six times), the Olympic Games (1972, 1988, 1992, 1996), the Australian Open (seven times), the French Open (23 times), Wimbledon (26 times), the U.S. Open Tennis Championships (10 times), the Masters (seven times), the PGA Championship (five times), the U.S. Open Golf Championship (five times), the Ryder Cup (three times), the American and National League Playoffs (three times), the World Series, heavyweight boxing championships (three times), the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship (14 times), the NBA Playoffs and the NBA All-Star Game. Along with football, baseball, tennis, golf, basketball and boxing, he has called gymnastics, figure skating, Breeder’s Cup horse racing and track and field.
• The Tom Hammond Kentucky Sports Media Award will be presented to Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate-Messenger.
A 1970 graduate of Danville High School and a 1974 graduate of the University of Kentucky, Vaught began his career working for his late father, Bill, in the sports department at The Danville Advocate in 1975. He became the sports editor in 1996 upon the death of his father. Vaught has served as the president of the Kentucky Sports Writers Association and third vice president of the national Associated Press Sports Editors Association. He is a member of the Danville School’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the 12th Region Hall of Fame and in 2010 was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Vaught is also a six-time winner of Kentucky’s National Sportswriter of the Year, which is named by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Recent National College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Jim Host will also present a pair of awards in his name at the event.
• The Jim Host Sports Business Award will be presented to Keeneland legend, Mr. Ted Bassett.
Bassett began working for the Keeneland Association in 1968, initially as an assistant to Louis Lee Haggin II. In 1969, Bassett became president and served in that capacity until 1986 when he moved to chairman of the board. In 2003, Bassett became a Keeneland trustee and he now holds the title of trustee emeritus. The entirety of his Keeneland tenure currently spans 42 years and coincides with the association’s greatest period of growth. From 1988-1996, Bassett also served as president of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. He was chairman of the World Series Racing Championship from 1994-2004. He remains a Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup director and a member of The Jockey Club. He is a past president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of America and formerly served as a trustee of the National Museum of Racing, UK Equine Research Foundation and Transylvania University. A decorated veteran of World War II, Bassett was awarded the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation. He was the director of the Kentucky State Police for four years and was one of the founders of the College of Justice and Safety at Eastern Kentucky University.
• The Jim Host Youth Sports Award will honor the late Mr. Louis Stout.
Mr. Stout worked for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) for 23 years. In 1994, he became commissioner of the association and was the first African-American to head a state high school athletic association in the country. In 2011, he was named to the position of president of the National Amateur Athletic Union, an organization geared toward the development of youth through sports, his lifelong passion. Just as with all of his works, he would strive to make the AAU
a better organization that it already was. In a life dedicated to youth sports, Stout was also a softball, baseball and college basketball official. He is a member of the 11th Region Basketball Hall of Fame, Kentucky Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, AAU Softball Umpire Hall of Fame, AAU Hall of Fame and the KHSAA Hall of Fame.
The Awards evening will conclude with the live announcement of Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year.
The award was presented to Kenneth Faried in 2012 and has been given annually since 1981 when Roy Kidd received the prestigious honor. The voting is done by print, radio and television sports media from around the state and is coordinated by the Herald-Leader.
“We are thrilled to honor this year’s very deserving award winners” said Terry Johnson, executive director of the BSC. “This event gives us an opportunity to recognize individuals that have contributed so much to Kentucky through sports and serves as an opportunity for us to showcase what sport does for our state and our region.”
The event will consist of a silent auction, dinner and professionally produced awards program. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the BSC and its efforts to grow the economic impact sports tourism has on central Kentucky.
Tables of 10 are available for purchase for $1250. Individual tickets are also available for $125 each. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 859-255-0336 or visit www.bluegrasssports.org.
The Youth Sports Award and Kentucky Sports Media Award winners were selected by the Bluegrass Sports Awards Committee from a list of nominations submitted by the general public and Kentucky sports media members, respectively. The Tom Hammond Award and the Jim Host Sports Business Award winners were nominated and selected by the committee.
For more information about our host sponsor, the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa, visit griffingatemarriott.com or call
By LARRY VAUGHT
It’s a little different perspective today, but I got to spend time with four-time Olympic sprint medalist Ato Boldon this week while he was working as an instructor at the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College. I thought you might enjoy what Boldon, now a NBC-TV track analyst who will be working the Olympic Games, had to say about Lexington natives Tom Hammond and Tyson Gay as well as his take on UK’s national championship.
Question: What is it like working with Lexington native Tom Hammond on NBC?
Boldon: “That is actually a funny story because I have been working with him since 2007 and obviously (Lexington native) Tyson Gay has been a big part of a lot of our broadcasts. After about a year I said to Tom, ‘Why is it that you introduce Tyson Gay’s high school and not anybody else’s high school?’ He went, ‘Yeah, because I went to the same high school.’ Now I understand the Lafayette High School connection.
“But Tom is a pretty big deal everywhere. He is an amazing person and pretty much the best there is. Everybody knows Tom is a great guy, but I got a chance to see it first hand. Tom gave me a lot of confidence by letting me be me. Tom’s greatest gift in his job is that he adapts to whoever sits next to him. He will work with people in basketball, horse racing; he works with me. Everybody is different, but some how Tom finds a way to just let the person who is doing the color analysis do their thing and he does his thing. It’s hard to describe, but he’s the best at it.”
Question: What are your expectations for Tyson Gary regarding his bid to make the Olympic team?
Boldon: “I feel like Tyson and I have kind of grown up together because my broadcast career started with his career at Arkansas. While he was doing great things at Arkansas, I was kind of figuring my way out in the broadcast world. Now he is kind of at the top of his field and I am on top of mine in terms of being a sprint analyst and I can tell you that I did not expect Tyson Gay to look as good ash he did in New York (last weekend). Having said that, I went on the air and said I thought he would run 10 (seconds) flat (in the 100-meter dash) and he ran 10 flat and that was great. But in the back of my mind, I was like the surgeries, the layoff, I just wasn’t sure. It bothered me because I feel like Tyson makes the competition better. When we are talking about the Trials and the Olympic Games, it is better to have the American record holder there. He just such a great competitor and great guy.
“In terms of what I expect of him in the U.S. Trials, I had Justin Gatlin winning until I saw Tyson in New York. I went back home and just submitted my picks to NBC.com and I went to Justin Gatlin and backspaced over that and put Gatlin second. I feel like Tyson has a point to prove even to the critics like me who don’t think he can come back after what he’s been through. That’s good. Every athlete has to find that kind of motivation and I feel like Tyson is going to win the Olympic Trials.
“Now do I think he is going to win an Olympic gold medal? I am not so sure about that. But you never know. Bolt false started out of the 100-meter World Championship final. People get injured. All sorts of stuff happens. Will Tyson have a shot? I think if he stays healthy, yes he will. It will be good for him because even with his resume, he does not have an Olympic medal of any kind, not even a relay. I am eager to see him do well at the Olympics.”
Question: Since you are a basketball fan, what did you think of Kentucky winning the national championship?
Boldon: “I am a huge basketball fan and Kentucky was great. I am not as big a college fan in all honesty as I am NBA, but I was just happy to see them there. It’s a good tie in to the whole Tyson Gay thing. If you are having the Olympic final, you want the American record holder in it. It makes it a better competition. I always feel like when programs like Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, Duke are having good seasons, it makes for a better college basketball season. Of course, UCLA is not doing so well, but it is a better college basketball season when Kentucky is having a good year and they had a great year which I am sure people in Kentucky liked a lot.”