A fun time tonight helping cover the 77th annual Seattle Sports Star of the Year banquet, where one of the big winners was UW tailback Chris Polk.
Polk won honors in an on-line fan vote as the Male Sports Star of the Year, a category that also included UW basketball player Isaiah Thomas, WSU track star Jeshua Anderson, swimmer Nathan Adrian and UW golfer Chris Williams. (Here are details on all of the awards handed out Wednesday night).
UW quarterback Keith Price accepted the award on Polk’s behalf and gave a brief speech, thanking everyone for Polk. There was also a brief video of Polk sending along his own thanks — he was unable to be in attendance as he is at the Senior Bowl this week. Polk thanked fans for “being with us through the ups and downs. That goes a long ways.”
The award was presented by former WSU quarterback Mark Rypien who called Polk “one heck of a football player” and said Price should be among the Heisman favorites next season.
Polk joins a long list of UW football players to be honored — he is now the 15th — as well as a few coaches (you can see all past winners here). The most recent previous winner, Jake Locker (2009) was also in attendance, helping provide one of the more touching moments of the night as he presented the Seattle Children’s Inspirational Award to fellow Ferndale native Jake Finkbonner. The 11-year-old Finkbonner has had 29 surgeries as a result of a flesh-eating bacteria in his face that nearly killed him when he was 5.
During a speech that concluded with a standing ovation, he joked that he has been watching Locker play football “ever since I was young.”
Locker, now with the Tennessee Titans, said backstage that Finkbonner “hit it out of the park” with his speech.