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Atlanta Sports Awards celebrates athletes, coaches, teams and community contributors

The Atlanta Sports Council recognized the best of the best during the 2021 event.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Sports Council recognized our city’s best athletes, coaches, teams and community contributors during the Atlanta Sports Awards which aired exclusively on 11Alive.

NFL Legend and Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor member Warrick Dunn was honored as the recipient of the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Presented by Coca-Cola. 

During his time in Atlanta, Dunn gained 5,981 rushing yards, the fourth-most in Falcons history, and 30 touchdowns while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He caught 204 passes during his career with the Falcons, the second-most among running backs in franchise history. 

Upon his retirement in 2009, he was approved by NFL owners to become a limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons.  

Credit: AP
Former Atlanta Falcons running back and minority owner Warrick Dunn is inducted into the Falcons Ring of Honor by owner Arthur Blank during the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Dunn is also the founder of Warrick Dunn Charities, and since 1997, Warrick Dunn Charities has worked with affordable housing providers in 24 different markets across the country to help 190 single-parent families who are actively working to support themselves and are purchasing their first home.

RELATED: Atlanta Sports Council honors Warrick Dunn with 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Positive Athlete of the Year presented by Georgia Power, a Southern Company, was awarded to North Cobb High School lacrosse player Kacy Handzel. Handzel created a non-profit called Blissful Boxes, which provides care packages of essential items to people without homes in her community.

The fifth annual Top Sports Moment Award presented by Mercedes-Benz, went to the Atlanta Braves who took home the honor with Freddie Freeman’s walk-off win during Game 1 of the Wildcard Series between the Braves and the Reds, which was scoreless after 13 innings until Freeman’s walk-off winning run.

Credit: AP Photo/John Amis

RELATED: Atlanta Sports Awards 2021: Everything you need to know

The Atlanta Sports Awards and 11Alive also honored three Unsung Heroes, presented by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, who were instrumental in helping both their organizations and their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Ron Courson, University of Georgia Sports Medicine, who supported the challenges facing college athletes during the pandemic and the return of athletics to college campuses;
  • Jeff Stevenson, MLB Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Braves, who helped create the protocols for the resumption of the Braves season that was halted by COVID-19; and
  • Joe Coomer, Mercedes-Benz Stadium VP/Security, who worked with GEMA and FEMA on the organization of the Mercedes-Benz vaccination site.

Other recognitions announced at the 2021 Atlanta Sports Awards were Outstanding Coach Award presented by The Home Depot, Outstanding Professional Athlete Award presented by Truist, Outstanding College Athlete Award, Team11 High School Athlete Award and Outstanding Sports Team Award. The full list of winners is below.

“We are proud to bring together and celebrate the state’s finest athletic talent and contributors for an evening of well-deserved recognition after an especially challenging year for sports and for the entire nation,” said Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council. “We are grateful to our award sponsors and event partners for their continued support in honoring the best Georgia has to offer in sports across high school, collegiate and professional athletics.”

Credit: (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
Chase Elliott holds up the race trophy in Victory Lane as celebrates his season championship after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix Raceway, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Avondale, Ariz.

2021 Atlanta Sports Award winners:

Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Coca-Cola 
Warrick Dunn, Former Atlanta Falcons Player

Outstanding Coach Award presented by The Home Depot
Nell Fortner, Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball

Outstanding Professional Athlete Award presented by Truist
Chase Elliott, NASCAR Driver

Outstanding College Athlete Award
Moses Wright, Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball

Team11 High School Athlete Award
Sania Feagin, Forest Park Girls’ Basketball

Top Sports Moment Award presented by Mercedes-Benz
Atlanta Braves

Outstanding Sports Team Award
Atlanta Braves

Positive Athlete Award presented by Georgia Power, a Southern Company
Kacy Handzel, North Cobb Girls’ Lacrosse