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Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete, New Orleans

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has recognized the top male and female amateur athletes from the Greater New Orleans area since 1978 – candidates must either play for a team that is based in the Greater New Orleans area or must be a native of the New Orleans area competing elsewhere. The honor is selected by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, which has been existence since 1957. All of the Sugar Bowl awards were presented on a calendar-year basis until 2009 when the Committee changed to an academic calendar (July-June). The annual awards banquet is typically held in late July or early August. Records from 1991-98 are not available.

Baylor University star Jared Butler, the Most Outstanding Player at this year’s NCAA Final Four, was selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Male Amateur Athlete of the Year for 2020-21. The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selects annual award winners in a variety of categories; it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year’s Hall of Fame class.

Butler, who played his high school ball at Riverside Academy, capped a spectacular college basketball career by leading Baylor to its first NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The senior guard scored 22 points in the 86-70 national title-game victory over top-seeded Gonzaga (April 5), which had entered the contest undefeated. In the national semifinal against Houston (April 3), Butler erupted for 17 first-half points, including four three-pointers as the Bears buried the Cougars in the first half. The 6-3 Butler followed up his tremendous on-court performance by being named the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year on April 14. The first consensus First-Team All-American in program history, Butler averaged 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game for the national champions.

“[Winning a championship] was one of my goals,” Butler said after the national semifinal victory. “And I know some of my teammates’ goals, just to leave a legacy at Baylor, create Baylor as a blue blood.”

“He is the whole package,” his high school coach Timmy Byrd said. “Jared is a great student. He left Riverside with 24 college credits. He has flourished academically. He has obviously achieved athletically. Jared has tremendous character and is so well liked by everyone. He and Tweety [Carter] are the two best high school players I ever coached. It has been such a pleasure to watch him.”

The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has presented annual awards to amateur athletes in the region since 1958 – Butler is the first New Orleans area product competing out of the state to win the honor since Jesuit product Patrick Mullins was recognized after an All-American soccer season at the University of Maryland.

The other finalists for Greater New Orleans Male Amateur Athlete of the Year were Payton Alexander (Loyola University Baseball), Brayden Jobert (Delgado Baseball) and Rayshawn Mart (Xavier University Basketball). Alexander, the Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year, was a key for Loyola turning in the best season in its baseball history as the Wolf Pack won a program-record 36 games. Jobert, a graduate of Slidell’s Northshore High School and an LSU signee, had a dominant season for Delgado this year, earning All-America recognition after keying the Dolphins run to the NJCAA Super Regional. Mart, a first-team All-American by the NAIA and the NABC, was Xavier’s first Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year after averaging 21.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game as he led XULA to a repeat championship in the GCAC Tournament.

2020-21 Jared Butler Butler University Basketball
2019-20 Ja’Marr Chase LSU Football
2018-19 Kody Hoese Tulane Baseball
2017-18 Anthony “Pooka” Williams Hahnville Football
2016-17 Keytaon Thompson Landry-Walker Football
2015-16 Leonard Fournette LSU Football
2014-15 Paul Klein Brother Martin Wrestling
2013-14 Leonard Fournette St. Augustine Football
2012-13 Patrick Mullins Maryland Soccer
2011-12 Tyrann Mathieu LSU Football
2010-11 Ryan Brock Loyola University Basketball
2009-10 Matt Derenbecker Country Day Basketball
2008 Blake Matherne Belle Chasse Football
2007 Matt Forté Tulane Football
2006 Robbie Broach Archbishop Rummel Baseball
2005 Not Awarded Hurricane Katrina
2004 Michael Kogan Tulane Tennis
2003 Corey Webster LSU Football
2002 Ryan Martin Jesuit Baseball
2001 Mewelde Moore Tulane Football
2000 Jonathan Ruffin University of Cincinnati Football
1999 Sjyrone Carey Archbishop Shaw Football
1990 Tony Harris UNO Basketball
1989 NA
1988 Terrence Jones Tulane Football
Ted Wood UNO Baseball
1987 Marc Zeno Tulane Football
1986 Terrence Jones Tulane Football
1985 Will Clark Mississippi State Baseball
1984 Will Clark Jesuit Baseball
1983 Paul Thompson Tulane Basketball
Tookie Spann Brother Martin Football/Baseball
1982 Augie Schmidt UNO Baseball
1981 Garry James West Jefferson Football
1980 Nickie Hall Tulane Football
1979 Roch Hontas Tulane Football
1978 Larry Tatman Boxing
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