The first ever Minnesota Sports Awards comes to a successful end

A live stream of the event was carried across FOX Sports North’s digital channels, and the network will debut an hour-long show with highlights from the awards gala on Thursday, Dec. 28.

Sylvia Fowles and Rod Carew Among the Athletes Honored at the Inaugural ‘Minnesota Sports Awards’

The star-studded event at Target Center will be broadcast on FOX Sports North on Dec. 28

Minneapolis (Dec. 13, 2017) – This evening, Sports Minneapolis, Powered by Meet Minneapolis, held the first-ever Minnesota Sports Awards at Target Center. Minnesota Lynx Center Sylvia Fowles was one of the night’s winners; she was honored with the Professional Athlete of the Year award. The highlight and culmination of the event was the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to Minnesota Twins legend and National Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew. A live stream of the event was carried across FOX Sports North’s digital channels, and the network will debut an hour-long show with highlights from the awards gala on Thursday, Dec. 28.

Here is a list of all winners from the 2017 Minnesota Sports Awards:

High School Athlete of the Year:
Awarded to the high school athletes who have set the highest standard for excellence in their sports and in their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season. (Two winners)

  • Taylor Anderson - Eagan High School
    Taylor Anderson is a senior standout on the Eagan High School girls hockey team. She was both All-Conference and All-State in her junior season. She has also had the opportunity to represent the United States by playing on the Under 18 National team. Off the ice, Anderson is a member of the National Honor Society and a peer-to-peer tutor at Eagan High School. She is also actively involved in the Minnesota Sled Hockey Association, which provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the sport.
  • Sam Carlson - Burnsville High School
    Sam Carlson is a 2017 graduate of Burnsville High School and was one of the most dominant high school pitchers in Minnesota. He led the Blaze to the State Tournament and was named the Class 4A Player of the Year. Additional honors include the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year for Minnesota award and being named Mr. Baseball in 2017. In June, Carlson was selected in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Seattle Mariners with the 55th overall pick. Away from the diamond, Carlson was an honors student, and in his new job as a professional baseball player, he has been active in his local community by visiting schools and hospitals.

Collegiate Athlete of the Year
Awarded to the collegiate athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season. 

  • Temi Ogunrinde - University of Minnesota
    Temi Ogunrinde is a junior on the University of Minnesota Track and Field team. She switched from sprints to hammer throw and became the Big Ten champion in that event last season and finished 18th at the NCAA Championships. Ogunrinde also received All-Big 10 and Academic All-Big Ten honors, as well as the Gophers’ Outstanding Sportsmanship award. She has been named Captain of this year’s squad and is working on a degree in Entrepreneurial Management at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Ogunrinde is just as passionate and committed to giving back to her community and recently was involved in an internship working on diversity and inclusion projects to make sure the 2019 Final Four is for all people.

Professional Athlete of the Year presented by FOX Sports North
Awarded to the professional athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season. 

  • Sylvia Fowles - Minnesota Lynx
    In 2017, Sylvia Fowles was arguably the best player on the Minnesota Lynx roster. She led the team with an average of 19 points and more than 10 rebounds per game. Fowles also achieved a Lynx single-season record for rebounds (354) and shot a career-high 65.5 percent, the fourth-best field goal percentage in league history. Her domination on the court earned her the WNBA Most Valuable Player award and the WNBA Finals MVP award. Fowles is also active in the local community and donated a portion of the award bonus to local nonprofit Cycles for Change in support of giving middle and high school girls access to bicycles.

Minnesota Sports Moment of the Year Award

Voted on by the public in a Star Tribune online poll, this award recognizes a single sports moment from a game or competition in the past year that energized Minnesota sports fans, displayed remarkable athletic skill or demonstrated incredible sportsmanship.

  • Farmington Softball State Title
    Farmington Softball was the fifth seed heading into the 4A State Tournament. After knocking off the top seed, they were in a 0-0 battle with Anoka for the championship. With two outs, in the bottom of the 10th inning, Emma Frost delivered a walk-off home run to win the state title for Farmington – the first ever team title for Farmington High School.

Courage Award:
Awarded to an athlete or other sports figure who overcame significant challenges on or off the playing field, inspiring others with their courage, perseverance and determination.

  • Maddie Muelken - Farmington
    Maddie Muelken was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma just before the start of the softball season in 2017. She took on cancer with the true spirit of an athlete and competitor. Muelken only missed a few games during the season – often times pitching the day of or day after chemotherapy. She was on the mound for Farmington in the 4A State Championship game against Anoka.  In that game, Muelken pitched 10 scoreless innings and helped lead her team to the first-ever team title for Farmington High School.

Lifetime Achievement Award:
Awarded to a person who has dedicated their career to furthering the success of sports in Minnesota and whose achievements have made a significant impact on the community over many years. 

  • Rod Carew - Minnesota Twins
    Minnesota Twins legend Rod Carew is the first-ever recipient of the Minnesota Sports Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s a seven-time American League batting champion with a lifetime .328 batting average, registered more than 3,000 hits and is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Carew is truly the epitome of a Minnesota sports legend. He’s beloved by baseball fans and is generous with his time and talents – particularly with the Heart of 29 Campaign, which helps to raise money and awareness for the prevention of heart disease. He also contributes his time and talents on behalf of charitable organizations and endeavors such as Donor Day, the American Heart Association, and the Twins Community Fund.

The Minnesota Sports Awards public nomination process garnered nearly 200 nominations. Entries were received from around the state, featuring sports from downhill skiing to track and field. A committee of sports executives and sports journalists selected the finalists and winners for five of the awards. The Minnesota Sports Moment of the Year was decided upon by a public vote on the Star Tribune website.

Photos of the winners will be made available later this evening at


Sports Minneapolis is focused on recruiting, enhancing and producing sporting events in the Minneapolis area for the benefit of our community. In addition to generating significant estimated economic impact, amateur and professional sports events can help connect the community through sport, fostering health and wellness.

Minneapolis is on a winning streak in securing upcoming major sports events over the last several years, including the Super Bowl LII in 2018, the X Games 2018, 2018 WNBA All-Star Game and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2019, among others. Sports Minneapolis has played a major role in bringing these events to Minneapolis, along with events like Northern Lights Junior Volleyball Qualifier, USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships and many other professional, collegiate and amateur sporting events.

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Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit to the greater Minneapolis area.

Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destinations International.

Kristen Montag, Meet Minneapolis Senior PR and Communications Manager, 
612-767-8038,, @Minneapolis_PR  on Twitter

Kathy Gerhardt McCarthy, Meet Minneapolis Director of PR and Communications,