ATLANTA — Atlanta's sports teams and athletes continue to entertain and inspire us. Yet again, they gave us a memorable year full of triumph and celebration. Now it's time to decide who deserves to be honored as the very best of Atlanta sports. The 17th annual Atlanta Sports Awards, presented by the Atlanta Sports Council, is back and returns to 11Alive for a third consecutive year.
You, the fan, are playing a part in who wins these prestigious awards by casting your vote in the Top Sports Moment category presented by Mercedes-Benz. A percentage of the total fan vote will be included with the ballots submitted by the Council's voting committee to determine this year's winner. Online fan voting takes place from Nov. 1 to 11.
Stay tuned as we highlight each category on-air, weekdays Dec. 7-16, and announce the winners on Dec. 17 on 11Alive, 11Alive.com, the 11Alive YouTube channel and on the 11Alive+ app via Roku or FireTV. We will also recognize the Lifetime Achievement Award winner presented by Coca-Cola and the Unsung Hero Award presented by the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
A spotlight on-air:
- Dec. 5: Awards show highlight
- Dec. 6: Awards show highlight
- Dec. 7: Outstanding Coach presented by The Home Depot
- Dec. 8: Top Sports Moment presented by Mercedes-Benz
- Dec. 9: Outstanding Team11 High School Athlete
- Dec. 12: Awards show highlight
- Dec. 13: Outstanding Professional Athlete presented by Truist
- Dec. 14: Unsung Hero Award presented by The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
- Dec. 15: Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Coca-Cola
- Dec. 16: Outstanding Sports Team presented by Georgia Power
- Dec. 17: One-hour special airs on 11Alive at 7 p.m.
- Dec. 18: One-hour special re-airs on 11Alive at 11 a.m. and at 8 p.m. on WATL
- Dec. 25: One-hour special re-airs on 11Alive at 11:30 p.m. and at 3 p.m. on WATL
OUTSTANDING COACH PRESENTED BY THE HOME DEPOT
Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves
After trailing the Mets by more than 10 games in the NL East, Brian Snitker’s adjustments helped the Braves rally to win their fifth straight division title and surpass 500 career wins.
Nate McMillan, Atlanta Hawks
Nate McMillan led the Hawks through the play-in tournament to return to the postseason for a second consecutive year, navigating through COVID and injuries.
Kirby Smart, the University of Georgia
Kirby Smart led the Bulldogs to their first national title in 41 years, in a triumphant win over Alabama. Smart became the second former assistant coach of Nick Saban to beat his former boss.
Tanisha Wright, Atlanta Dream
While navigating through a rebuild, Tanisha Wright coached the Atlanta Dream to 14 wins, the most for the franchise since 2018.
OUTSTANDING PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE PRESENTED BY TRUIST
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young solidified himself as one of the best point guards in the league, leading the league in scoring and assists, and becoming an All-Star for the second time in his career.
Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves
The Braves 3rd baseman hit 38 home runs in 20-22, the third-most in the national league. The first time All-Star was second in the majors in extra base hits and total bases, making him a finalist for the Hank Aaron Award.
Rhyne Howard, Atlanta Dream
The first overall pick burst onto the scene, leading all rookies in points, assists and steals, paving the way for her to be voted an All-Star and the league’s Rookie of the Year.
OUTSTANDING SPORTS TEAM PRESENTED BY GEORGIA POWER
After a slow start, the Braves surged in the second half of the season and overcame postseason rivals to win their first World Series in nearly three decades. In 2022, the Braves overcame a 10.5 game deficit to overtake the New York Mets and win the NL East for a 5th consecutive season.
One-time walk-on quarterback Stetson Bennett took over in week two, and the Bulldogs dominated, outscoring opponents by average of 20 points. The Dawgs avenged an SEC Championship loss to Alabama to win its first title in 41 years. In 20-22, the Dawgs’ domination under Bennett continues despite a competitive SEC East.
OUTSTANDING TEAM11 HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE
Justice Haynes, Buford football
After stellar seasons at Blessed Trinity, the Alabama commit transferred to Buford and proved to be a dynamic piece of the offense, moving into the top 11 of all-time rushing leaders in Georgia.
Riley Jackson, Blessed Trinity girls’ soccer
Jackson is the ninth sophomore to win a Gatorade Player of the Year award in any sport. She scored 14 goals and 18 assists, and she competed in the u-17 CONCACAF World Cup.
Termarr Johnson, Mays High School baseball
Johnson was considered the best prep hitter in the country, batting over .500 for Mays. He’s among the first baseball players from Atlanta Public Schools to be drafted in the top 5.
Druw Jones, Wesleyan School baseball
The son of Braves’ legend Andruw Jones, Druw Jones hit 13 home runs in Wesleyan’s run to the state title. The Gatorade player of the year was drafted no. 2 overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Bruce Thornton, Milton boys basketball
Before joining Ohio State, thorton started every game of his high school career, and averaged over 17 points per game in his senior season. He led the Eagles to their fourth consecutive region title and the Class 7A quarterfinals.
TOP SPORTS MOMENT PRESENTED BY MERCEDES-BENZ
Braves win the World Series
Overcoming the Astros with soaring home runs and outstanding pitching, the Braves beat the Astros in six games to win their first World Series title in nearly three decades.
Josef Martinez scores his 100th MLS goal
Martinez scored his 100th goal for Atlanta United at home, accomplishing the feat in 125 appearances. He became the fastest player in MLS history to reach the century mark.
UGA wins College Football Playoff National Championship
Georgia’s offense prevailed under Stetson Bennett, and a pick-six once and for all helped UGA beat Alabama and win the program’s third national title.
>> The voting for top sports moment has ended.