IOWA CITY, Iowa — The AAU James E. Sullivan award winner will be announced Wednesday at 7 p.m. (CT) on a live stream at the Sports Stories Podcast on Facebook. In recent years the event took place at the famed New York Athletic Club.
University of Iowa junior Spencer Lee is one of 10 finalist for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award, presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. The winner is determined by public vote, media vote, and committee vote.
The 10 finalists include Lee, Evita Griskenas (USA Rhythmic Gymnastics), Grant Holloway (Florida track & field), Markus Howard (Marquette basketball), Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon basketball), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson football), Dana Rettke (Wisconsin volleyball), Kyla Ross (UCLA gymnastics), Megan Taylor (Maryland Lacrosse), and Abby Weitzeil (Cal swimming & diving).
Representatives from the AAU created the AAU James E. Sullivan Award with the intent to recognize amateur contributions and achievements from non-professional athletes across the country. The AAU Sullivan Award is presented to the athlete who has demonstrated the most athletic success, as well as leadership, character and sportsmanship in the past year.
World renowned golfer Robert “Bobby” Jones received the inaugural award in 1930 and swimmer Anne Curtis became the first female to accept the award in 1944. Other notable athletes to win the award include famed Olympians Carl Lewis (1981), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986), Michael Phelps (2003) and Shawn Johnson (2008), former UCLA basketball star Bill Walton (1973) and University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning (1997). Most recently, ESPNW Player of the Year and NCAA Volleyball National Champion Kathryn Plummer was crowned the 89th AAU James E. Sullivan Award winner for her accomplishments in 2018.