Adams, Smith top nominees for sports awards

Rising NBA star Steven Adams and Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith headline the finalists for The Dominion Post Wellington sportsperson of the year awards.

Adams, who enjoyed a breakout playoff performance for the Oklahoma City Thunder today, became the first Kiwi to be picked in the first round of the NBA draft last year.

Before leaving for the United States he attended Scots College and played for the Wellington Saints.

Smith, meanwhile, has maintained his impeccably high standards for both the Hurricanes and All Blacks.

The other finalists in the sportsman category are Black Sticks hockey player Stephen Jenness and rower James Hunter.

The sportswoman category features champion Paralympic swimmer Mary Fisher, Black Sticks star Anita Punt, barefoot waterskiier Georgia Groen and swimmer/surflifesaver Samantha Lee.

Six external and independent judges deliberated over 200 nominations from 26 different sports to compile the list of 46 finalists.

Past winners of the supreme award include Smith, Peter Taylor and Ricki Herbert.

''This has been yet another great year for the number of nominations received,'' said Sport Wellington chief executive Phil Gibbons.

''The quality of the nominees and their level of achievement are outstanding.  The judges had a very difficult task in separating the finalists in each category. The range of sports recognised really highlights the diversity of Wellington's sporting landscape with 20 different sports recognised within the finalists alone. Every corner of our region is recognised and we can all be justifiably proud of the finalists.''

Geoff Bryan will host the awards dinner on June 12 at TSB Bank Arena.

The Dominion Post