CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving had one of the best Thursday’s of his young life.
Irving was named an All Star reserve for the Eastern Conference and later in the evening was named the Professional Athlete of the Year at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards held at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland.
“One of the best days of my life,” Irving said.
Irving beat out teammate Anderson Varejao and Browns kicker Phil Dawson for the award.
“It’s a big deal for me and a big deal for the city of Cleveland,” Irving said. “It means a lot. To be picked as an All-Star for the first time and be with those guys, to see those names on TV, it’s truly a blessing.”
Head coach Byron Scott and general manager Chris Grant took the stage and presented Irving with the award from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
Scott said that he felt like a proud father after learning of Irving’s All Star nod.
“The thing that keeps him going is continuing to have new goals,” Scott said. “This year he’s a reserve and next year he should want to be a starter. That should be his next step and in order to that he has to work even harder. The thing that is so good about him is that he’s willing to work. He’s going to continue to get better.
“And he’s not 21 yet. He’s well on his way to being one of the best.”
Irving is averaging 23.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds this season but the Cavaliers dismal 11-32 record limited his chances of making the team but got him a rare text from his college coach, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.
“First time ever,” Irving said smiling. “I don’t think Coach K has ever sent one of his players a text. I didn’t even know he could text. I think his assistant sent it for him. My freshman year at Duke he told me never to text him because he didn’t know how to text. So, times are changing.”
Irving wasn’t the only star of the show.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and new coach Rob Chudzinski, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and boxing promoter Don King, who wore a sequined jacket and waved American flags while he worked every room, were among the presenters.
Tianna (Madison) Bartoletta of team USA track and field won the Amateur Athlete of the Year award while the Kent State baseball team took home College Athlete of the year honors after making the College World Series.
Mentor quarterback Mitch Trubisky was named the High School Athlete of the Year and the Cardinals’ triple overtime win over St. Ignatius in the Div. I region I regional championship game at Byers Field was named the Sports Moment of the Year.
Former Browns offensive tackle and current radio analyst Doug Dieken was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award and Notre Dame Academy soccer standout Molly Miller, who is a cancer survivor and continues to fight the disease, received the Courage Award.
Browns CEO Joe Banner, former Cavalier Larry Nance, and former Brown Eric Metcalf were also in attendance.