Jan. 5, 2000
ORLANDO, Fla. - UCLA softball player Stacey Nuveman was named one of the final 10 candidates for the 70th Annual AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award given to the top amateur athlete of 1999.
The other nine first round finalists are: Christian Ahrens (rowing), Mark Ruiz (diving), Matt Busbee (swimming), Stephen Neal (wrestling), Mateen Cleaves (men's basketball), Ron Dayne (football), Luke Donald (men's golf), Jason Jennings (baseball), and Kelly & Coco Miller (women's basketball).
The AAU Sullivan Award recognizes athletes who have achieved athletic excellence, exhibit leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism. It has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder and past president of the AAU, and a pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan.
The ten first-round finalists will be reduced to the top five and their names will be released in mid-February. From the top five names, the National winner will be formally announced in late March in New York City.
"This year's selection of award finalists represents a diverse group of athletes participating in a number of different sports," said AAU President Bobby Dodd. "The common thread that links our finalists is that they are not only first-class athletes, but first-class individuals as well. We hope that they will continue to serve as positive role models for the youth of America."
Considered the "Oscar" of sports awards, the AAU James E. Sullivan Award has been presented to prominent athletes of our time including last year's recipient Chamique Holdsclaw. Others include: Peyton Manning (1997), William "Bill" Bradley (1965), Dan Jansen (1994), Janet Evans (1989), Jim Abbott (1987), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1986), Greg Louganis (1984), and the late Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988).