CLEVELAND — For the first time since 2020, the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards took place as an in-person event, with Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse hosting the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission's annual fundraiser on Wednesday night.
Stars from both past and present made their way to the arena to take part in the festivities. All were overjoyed to see the event return to its true form.
"It was great to have the fans in the stands and have the electricity of the crowds," Olympic gold medalist Katie Nageotte, of Olmsted Township, said.
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Looking slim and trim, former Indians ace CC Sabathia was on hand to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, and he greatly appreciated the honor.
"It's great to come back to Cleveland," the 2007 AL Cy Young winner told reporters. "It always feels like home."
Presenting the award to CC was a former teammate: fellow Tribe legend Kenny Lofton.
"He's such a gentle giant," the six-time All-Star said. "I met him when he was first a rookie and knew he was a gamer."
The night also featured high school athletes who got their turn in the spotlight. St. Ignatius baseball player Robbie Boyce earned the Cleveland Clinic Sports Medicine Courage Award after overcoming a rare stroke to return to the field.
"If I think about it, I don't feel special," he stated. "I just feel like I'm a kid from Cleveland."
Gilmour volleyball player Kathryn Randorf, who led the Lancers to a state championship, shined as Female High School Athlete of the Year.
"I was a little nervous," she admitted, "but it felt great to be around all these great athletes."
What follows is a full list of winners from this year's awards show, which was emceed by NBC Sports' Maria Taylor.
- Male High School Athlete of the Year presented by University Hospitals Sports Medicine: Drew Allar, Medina High School, Football
- Female High School Athlete of the Year presented by University Hospitals Sports Medicine: Kathryn Randorf, Gilmour Academy, Volleyball
- Male Collegiate Athlete of the Year presented by H. Jack's Plumbing & Heating Co. "The Super Plumber!": Alex Phillip, John Carroll University, Cross Country (St. Vincent - St. Mary High School)
- Female Collegiate Athlete of the Year presented by H. Jack's Plumbing & Heating Co. "The Super Plumber!": Adelaide Aquilla, The Ohio State University, Track & Field (Magnificat High School)
- Professional Athlete of the Year presented by Bally Sports Ohio: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns, Defensive End
In addition to the individual awards, the following honors were also presented on Wednesday night:
- Cleveland Clinic Sports Medicine Courage Award: Robbie Boyce, Saint Ignatius High School, baseball
- Sports Development Award presented by Citizens: Topnotch Management, Tennis in The Land
- Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Union Home Mortgage – CC Sabathia, former Cleveland Indians pitcher
- Best Moment in Cleveland Sports presented by JACK Entertainment – 2021 NFL Draft
You can watch the full ceremony again in the player below:
Also, check out Jim Donovan's full interview with CC Sabathia: