KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s always a who’s who at the Kansas City Sports Awards, and this year was no different.
Several local stars across various sports teams were honored on Thursday night.
Two Kansas City Chiefs were awarded for their Super Bowl-winning season. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach was named McCownGordon Construction Executive of the Year, and defensive tackle Chris Jones, who wasn’t in attendance, was named Polsinelli Sportsman of the Year.
Kansas City Current midfielder Lo LaBonta won the Children’s Mercy Kansas City Sportswoman of the Year for her part in the exceptional 2022 season that the Current had.
“I think it’s an absolute honor,” LaBonta said. “I wish that my whole team was here because I’m not an individual player. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Kansas State men’s basketball head coach Jerome Tang won the Burns & McDonnell Coach of the Year for leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in his first year in the program.
“I found out (Chiefs head coach) Andy Reid won this thing last year,” Tang said. “I was like, ‘Why didn’t he win this year? I mean, he just won a pretty important game, you know?’ So, man, it’s a huge honor. I’m blessed. Staff is blessed to be here. Thankful for this opportunity.”
Two honorees were awarded posthumously: sports journalist Grant Wahl was honored as a Spire Community Champion while Ron Labinski, one of the architects of Arrowhead Stadium, was awarded the T-Mobile Legacy Award.
Eric Wahl, Grant’s brother, said the family has felt so much love from KC since Grant passed away.
“The first thing he’d say is huh?” Eric said about his brother.
“He would be extremely honored. He would see so many people in the room who contributed to his sense of success, and I think it would be reciprocal love. And this would mean the world to him.”