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The biggest night of Oregon sports stars takes center stage Sunday at the Tiger Woods Center.

The 56th annual Oregon Sports Awards, a two-hour show, will be carried live by Comcast SportsNet (37) and 1080 AM the Fan.

The event has 14 award categories and nearly 70 finalists, from high school athletes to the pros. The field includes two world champions (mixed martial arts icon Randy Couture and fencer Rebecca Ward), a World Series hero (Jacoby Ellsbury), a Rookie of the Year (Brandon Roy), several national championship teams and individuals, various All-Pros and All-Americans and numerous other athletes who enjoyed major success on a state or regional level in 2007.

Emmy-award winning broadcaster and former football star Ahmad Rashad will be the host. Bill Schonely from the Portland Trail Blazers is the ambassador.

Helping them present the awards will be a select group of sports celebrities, including Greg Oden, Derek Anderson, Jerry Glanville, Dick Fosbury, Steven Jackson, Dathan Ritzenhein, Harry Glickman and several standout high school athletes.

The Oregon Sports Awards are sponsored by Nike, the Portland Tribune, Comcast SportsNet, Les Schwab Tire Centers, Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors, the Portland Trail Blazers, Standard TV and Appliance, 1080 AM the Fan, Portland Vital Signs and SportsOne Inc.

The Oregon Sports Awards follow in the tradition of the Hayward banquet, which ran from 1948 through 1996. The list of winners in various categories during that period is illustrious.

It includes coaches such as Bill Bowerman, Jack Ramsay, Ralph Miller, Rich Brooks, Rick Adelman and Clive Charles; amateur greats Terry Baker, Don Schollander, Steve Prefontaine, Mary Slaney, Neil Lomax, Dan O'Brien, Tiffeny Milbrett, Joey Harrington and Mariel Zagunis; pros Mickey Lolich, Geoff Petrie, Bill Walton, Dan Fouts, Dale Murphy, Clyde Drexler, Peter Jacobsen and Scott Brosius; and prep legends Galen Rupp, Jordan Kent, Damon Stoudamire, Charlie Sitton, Anna Maria Lopez, Joni Huntley, Richard Washington and Russ Francis.

Who will join them as Oregon Sports Awards winners? Stay tuned.

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When, where: Sunday at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Campus in Beaverton. Reception at 5 p.m., show from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

TV, radio: Live at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet and 1080 AM the Fan. Pre-show coverage at 5:30 p.m. on 1080 AM the Fan.

Host: Ahmad Rashad, Emmy-award winning broadcaster, University of Oregon/NFL star and College Football Hall of Fame member

Ambassador: Bill Schonely, founding broadcaster/ambassador, Portland Trail Blazers

Celebrity presenters: Greg Oden, Derek Anderson, Jerry Glanville, Dick Fosbury, Steven Jackson, Harry Glickman and Dathan Ritzenhein

Awards: 14 categories - Johnny Carpenter prep athletes of the year, male and female; Harry Glickman pofessional athletes of the year, male and female; Bill Hayward amateur athletes of the year, male and female; Slats Gill sportsperson of the year; George Pasero team of the year; Ad Rutschman small-college athletes of the year, male and female; Nike-Steve Prefontaine award; Les Schwab Friend of Sports award; Lou Burge Special Olympics athlete of the year; merit awards. … All of the awards, except the merits, are based on performance in 2007. … A statewide panel of media and sports experts votes on the awards.

Tickets: $50, with complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages before the show, and coffee and desserts afterward. Call 503-721-7477, ext. 17.

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