REPORT| 2018 Greater Cleveland Sports Awards will broadcast live from backstage at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards tonight.

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CLEVELAND -- The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will honor the city’s best and brightest sports athletes at the 18th Greater Cleveland Sports Awards at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel Downtown tonight, and will deliver live coverage of their premiere fundraising event.

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Starting at 7 p.m., will host a Facebook Live broadcast featuring commentary on the year that was in Cleveland sports, as well as exclusive backstage interviews with local athletes of all levels, award presenters and honorees alike.


Here is a look at the finalists in each of the categories:

Male High School Athlete of the Year, presented by University Hospitals Sports Medicine

• Joey Baughman, Football, Wadsworth High School

• Ronald Lee, Football, Euclid High School

• Tyreke Smith, Football, Cleveland Heights High School

Female High School Athlete of the Year, presented by University Hospitals Sports Medicine

• Naz Hillmon, Basketball, Gilmour Academy

• Olivia Howell, Cross Country/Track & Field, Solon High School

• Shannon Williams, Volleyball, Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School

Male Collegiate Athlete of the Year

• Reggie Jagers III, Track & Field, Kent State University, Solon

• Travis Tarnowski, Football, Ashland University, North Royalton

• University of Mount Union Football Team, Football, University of Mount Union, Alliance

• Denzel Ward, Football, The Ohio State University, Nordonia

Female Collegiate Athlete of the Year

• Kelsey Bittinger, Volleyball, Kent State University, Strongsville

• Marisa Rinaldi, Track & Field, University of Mount Union, Tallmadge

• Hallie Thome, Basketball, University of Michigan, Chagrin Falls

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Professional Athlete of the Year, presented by FOX Sports Ohio

• LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers small forward

• Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians’ Cy Young Award-winning pitcher

• Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians’ MLB All-Star infielder

• Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns offensive lineman

Additionally, Samer Babi (North Olmsted) will receive the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Courage Award, while former Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.


ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi will serve as the emcee of the event.

A 12-time Sports Emmy Awards winner and six-time national Edward R. Murrow Awards recipient, Rinaldi detailed the heroism of former Boston College athlete Welles Crowther during the attacks on September 11, 2001, in his 2016 book, “The Red Bandanna.”

Since 2000, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission has been responsible for bringing nearly 200 sporting events to Northeast Ohio, with an economic impact of nearly $570 million.