Athletes in Action, the Campus Crusade for Christ ministry that focuses on athletics, will honor two key figures in the sporting industry tonight at this year's "Night of Champions."
Standout UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and Olympic gold medalist Madeline Manning Mims will both be inaugurated into the group's "Hall of Faith" – an elite honor given to athletes and coaches who display exemplary character in the game, in their families, and in the community.
"The Athletes in Action Hall of Faith honors modern-day sport heroes who are living out a lifestyle of faith and integrity," said Bill Pugh, president of Athletes in Action, in a statement. "Both John Wooden and Madeline Manning Mims embody all that the Athletes in Action Hall of Faith awards stand for."
Every year, Athletes in Action places one male and one female into their "Hall of Faith." Coach Wooden has exemplified character and faith throughout his career and will be one the rare cases to be inducted as both a player and a coach. In addition to her Olympic gold medals, Mims has served as chaplain for the U.S. Track & Field Team for over 20 years and is now currently a gospel singer, lay preacher, and motivational speaker.
Also joining the awardees as guests will be prominent sports figures from around Ohio, including Craig Krenzel, former NFL quarterback from Ohio State's 2002 Championship team; Anthony Muñoz, NFL Hall of Famer and former Cincinnati Bengal; and Clark Kellogg, a CBS basketball analyst and former Ohio State MVP.
North Carolina State women's basketball head coach and Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Coach Kay Yow will also attend the event. She has been a prominent Christian figure who has spoken much about her faith in the past.
Muñoz and Yow have been previous winners of the award.
The "Night of Champions" dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Athletes in Action World Training and Resource Center located in Xenia, Ohio, about 60 miles north of Cincinnati. The center boasts a $5 million training complex for its athletes.
Sky Angel, a Christian-owned multi-channel television service, will also broadcast the ceremony on its Angel Two/Sky Angel Channel 9702 on Friday, May 18, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. ET. It will then rebroadcast the event twice on Saturday, May 19, from 10 to 11:30 p.m. ET and Sunday, May 20, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. ET.
The "Night of Champions" is one of many events that is sponsored by Athletes in Actions throughout the year in their Sports Legend Series. Near most major athletic championships, excluding Tuesday's event, the ministry brings together some of the most influential Christian figures of that sport to speak on faith and athletics. Among the sporting events are during the Pro Rodeo Finals, the Super Bowl, the NBA All-Star Weekend, and the NCAA Final Four.
All these events are open to the public and tickets can be purchased at the Sports Legends Series website.