Who will be the next Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year?

L.A. Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket against Dallas Mavericks defenders Wesley Matthews (23), DeAndre Jordan, back, and Dennis Smith Jr. (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. AP Photo/LM Otero

The 2018 Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year will be crowned Thursday night.

The nominees are hockey player Brandon Saigeon, basketball player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and beach volleyballer Heather Bansley.

Saigeon, from Grimsby, scored more than a point per game in the 2017-18 Ontario Hockey League playoffs and was indispensable for Hamilton as the Bulldogs won a championship over heavily-favoured Sault Ste. Marie. The 20-year-old was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round in 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He is currently playing for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was selected 11th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by Charlotte and immediately traded to the L.A. Clippers. The 20-year-old Toronto native, who played high-school basketball at Hamilton’s St. Thomas More and Sir Allan MacNab, averaged 14.4 points per game with the University of Kentucky in 2017-18 and made it to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet Sixteen. Gilgeous-Alexander was named the 2018 SEC Tournament MVP, SEC All-Freshman Team, and All-SEC Second-Team All-Star.

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Bansley of Waterdown is ranked No. 1 in the world in beach volleyball with her partner Brandie Wilkerson. Bansley, 31, won gold at the 2018 World Tour event in Poland, in Las Vegas and the Chetumal Open in Mexico. Bansley won silver at the Ostrava Beach Open in the Czech Republic and picked up a bronze medal at the Itapema Open in Brazil.

Since 1995, the Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year Award has recognized the Burlington and Greater Hamilton Area’s top athlete. A committee of 10 people narrows the list of nominations down to three finalists. Following committee deliberation, the winner is then decided.

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The award is named after Bill Sturrup, 900 CHML broadcaster for more than 45 years. He died in 2007 at the age of 68. Sturrup was a mainstay on the Hamilton sports scene, working as a public address announcer at professional and amateur sporting events in Hamilton that included Hamilton Bulldogs, Hamilton Cardinals and Hamilton Tiger-Cats games.

The recipient of the award will be announced and presented at the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Children’s Fundraiser Dinner at the Hamilton Convention Centre.


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