Tanner Bryant, a member of the Miami Trace Class of 2018, was named the winner of the 50th-annual Clarence A. Christman Award Monday night.
The award, presented annually since 1969, is named in honor of Clarence A. Christman Jr. and goes to a senior from Miami Trace High School or Washington High School who best exemplifies excellence in the areas of athletics, academics and leadership.
The dinner was held at the Crown Room Banquet Hall.
It is sponsored by the Record-Herald and the Washington C.H. Kiwanis Club.
Bryant was selected for the award from a field of 20 nominees; eight from Miami Trace High School and 12 from Washington High School who are highly-regarded in sports, scholarships and community involvement.
“I would like to thank the Record-Herald and the Kiwanis Club for this,” Bryant said. “It is such an honor to receive this award. I’d like to thank my parents for pushing me to be the best person I could possibly be throughout my entire life.
“This award goes far beyond academics and athletics and I know that without (my parents), the leadership and the other rules that I’ve had in my life, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,” Bryant said. “I’d like to thank all of my coaches and my teachers and Jesus Christ, my saviour. Without Him, none of this would be possible.
“I am very appreciative of this honor,” Bryant said.
The 2017 winner of the Christman Award, Blake Pittser, returned Monday to present the 2018 award to Bryant. Pittser now attends Wright State University.
“Wright State has been a pretty good experience for me,” Pittser said. “I maintained a 4.0 (grade point average) my first two semesters. I was on the National Collegiate Honor Society.
“Soccer-wise, I traveled to every game,” Pittser said. “I played over 600 minutes. We played at Ohio State, at Wisconsin and at West Virginia. It was a good experience. I got a lot of playing time. We only graduated three seniors, so, we’re still pretty young. We’re looking to come back pretty strong next year and make a run at a Horizon League championship.”
Bryant, ranked No. 1 in her class with a 4.0 grade point average, will be attending Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, where she will play NCAA Division I basketball for the Eagles in the Atlantic Sun Conference and continue her education, majoring in Bio engineering.
Bryant, the third-leading all-time scorer in Miami Trace girls basketball history, ended her prep career with 1,256 points.
She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has been involved in 4-H for eight years.
Bryant was nominated for the Christman Award by Miami Trace girls basketball coach Ben Ackley.
“In my 16 years of coaching at all levels, I’ve never had a leader like Tanner,” Ackley said in his comments nominating Bryant. “She not only leads in the gym and on the court, but also in every aspect of her life. Under her leadership, the team had three straight seasons with more than 20 wins, three league titles, and a State Final Four appearance.
“Tanner leads by example and shows her teammates that by working hard and working together, their goals are attainable,” Ackley said. “This past season, she took the initiative to ask the opposing team to join hands and pray after every game, win or lose. This is a prime example of Tanner stepping up and being a great role model for everyone in the gym. So many people were impressed with this show of great sportsmanship and now some of our spring sports teams do the same.
“Tanner has definitely left her mark on Miami Trace girls basketball and will be remembered for years to come as a terrific leader and teammate,” Ackley said.
Bryant is the daughter of Mark and Kim Bryant of Fayette County.
Bryant also received a $500 cash scholarship.
The other 2018 Christman nominees are: Jack Anders, Cameron Carter, Matt Fender, Adam Ginn, Tabby Landrum, Brett Lewis and Morgan Miller of Miami Trace and, from Washington, Kenny Arboleda, Chris Conger, Savanna Davis, Alexa Harris, Faith Kobel, Jack Luebbe, Jaelyn Mason, Caleb Rice, Cody Riley, Keiya Satoh, Max Schroeder and Brandon Underwood.