Originally posted on www.baltimoresun.com by Nicholas Fouriezos
More than 200 members of the Maryland District of the Amateur Athletics Union will be honored at a special ceremony Sunday, with athletes, coaches and volunteers being acknowledged in eight different sports.
From football and basketball to jump rope and golf, Maryland AAU boys and girls athletes compete throughout the state and nation. Lorenzo Simpson, a point guard with Chick Webb Recreation Center’s AAU State Championship team, has also racked up five national boxing titles.
The 13-year-old overcame the loss of his father at 4 years old, and his requisite anger and grief, to earn good grades and channel his energy into the ring. His story is only one of many.
“It gives [the athletes] an anchor, something to focus on. Something positive,” said James Dupree, a Maryland AAU spokesman. “We try to be a total package, certainly providing different kinds of emotional support to young people and the guidance they need when they have questions about which way in life they want to turn.”
The ceremony will be conducted at the Martin’s EastWind Banquet Facility off Pulaski Highway. Invited guests include Harlem Globetrotter Choo Smith, Maryland state Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes and Ernest Burkeen Jr., the Director of the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.
The Mel Parker Memorial Award will be given to the district’s male and female athlete of the year. Maryland AAU has more than 18,000 total members.
“AAU Athlete Awardees are talented, competitively spirited and dedicated to taking their games to the next level,” said Bejamin Dubose, governor of the Maryland AAU. “These athletes may have fallen, but they get back up; lose, but refuse to accept defeat.”
What: Maryland AAU Awards Banquet and Ceremony
When: Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Where: 6600 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore MD 21220
For more information, go to www.marylandaau.org
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