Baseball Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, three-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro outside linebacker TJ Watt, American women’s gymnastics gold and silver medalist Laurie Hernandez and three-time MVP, world champion and co-founder of the Premier Lacrosse League Paul Rabil joins the growing list of top athletes participating in the Milwaukee High School Sports Awards.
The Milwaukee High School Sports Awards are part of the nation’s largest high school athletic recognition program. High performance athletes in most state-sanctioned sports will be honored on an on-demand broadcast at 7 p.m. June 30 in the center of the country. the site of the event.
Inducted in 2018 into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and current special hitting advisor to the Atlanta Braves, Jones holds the Braves team record for base percentage and is third for the team in the home runs. Jones began his professional career in 1990 as the Braves’ first draft pick. He was a member of the 1995 World Series championship team and eight times All-Star. Jones was the only change hitter in MLB history with a career batting average of at least .300 and 400 or more home runs. He finished with at least a .300, .400 batting average and .500 slugging percentage, the only switching hitter in history to hit all three milestones.
Watt, a former Wisconsin First Team All-American, has dominated the league since the Steelers picked him as their first-round draft pick in the 2017 Draft. In an impressive 2020 season, he won first place in the NFL for sacks and quarterbacks. and tackle for a defeat. He received the Deacon Jones Award, given annually to the NFL sack champion. Watt was a finalist for 2020 AFC Defensive Player of the Year and, for the second year in a row, was named Steelers MVP and 101 Award Defensive Player of the Year.
In her first year as a senior gymnast, Hernandez competed as a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team and was in the “last five” at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She was part of the team gold medalist that year and won a silver medal on beam. That same year, Hernandez appeared in Dancing with the Stars and walked away with the coveted mirror ball trophy as the Season 23 champion. She is also the author of a New York Times bestseller and of a children’s book.
Athlete, entrepreneur and philanthropist Rabil leads the world of professional lacrosse on and off the field. The Premier Lacrosse League, co-founded by Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil, offers fairness to its league players. It was a first for any major North American professional team sports league and a powerful movement for the fastest growing team sport in the United States. Rabil, who currently plays for the Cannons Lacrosse Club, is a ten-time first-team, three-time offensive player of the year, three-time MVP and seven-time champion throughout his college, professional and international career. Off the pitch, he is the host of the Suiting Up podcast which explores the handbook of tools and strategies of the most influential people in sports, entertainment, business and politics.
Martina Navratilova, the most successful tennis player of the open era, is also new to the series; Olympic gold medalist and world softball champion Jennie Finch; US National Women’s Field Hockey team midfielder Amanda Magadan; American ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes and Monica Aldama, 14 times national champion, bravery coach.
The Milwaukee High School Sports Awards are a multi-month student-athlete recognition program. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions for students and guest speakers, the event has been converted to an on-demand broadcast for 2021. The winner’s selections for state-sanctioned sports, all of which are featured in broadcast, are announced throughout the year on the event website.
The show will be free to watch on any smartphone or computer thanks to local business sponsors. The winners must register on the view website to reserve their free athlete gift box. Entries are also used to send awards to winners after the show.
Other athletes joining the program that were previously announced include:
- Aaron Rodgers, three-time NFL MVP
- Alex Morgan, two-time soccer world champion of the FIFA World Cup
- Five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Katie Ledecky
- Lindsey Vonn, Olympic gold medalist and quadruple ski world champion
- 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith
- Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings
The top high school athletes, coaches and teams from select state-sanctioned sports across the United States will be featured at the premiere USA TODAY High School Sports Awards. Statewide Athlete of the Year winners will be among the national winners.