2017 Asian Trailblazer of the Year – award giving to the athlete who inspires others to follow
Korean Jung-ho Kang was the first player from the Korean baseball league (KBO) to be signed by an MLB team. His success in his rookie season led to other Korean hitters signed by MLB — Dae-ho Lee, Byung-ho Park, Hyun-soo Kim, Jae-gyun Hwang.
2017 Asian Basketball Player of the Year– Award given to the best Asian basketball player
Jeremy Lin – signed with the Brooklyn Nets in the offseason and made it clear the team was better with him playing. Hamstring injuries limited Lin to only 36 games but did average 14.5 pts and 5.1 assists.
2017 Asian Basketball Newcomer of the Year – Award given to an Asian basketball player who surpassed expectations
Ding Yanyuhang – the 23 year old Chinese Basketball Association player for 5 seasons had a breakout year for Shangdong of the CBA. Small Forward Ding was named the Chinese domestic MVP after leading his team to the playoffs and averaging 24.2 points per game. He then played for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2017 NBA Summer League. He was the Las Vegas Summer league fan favorite and played well enough to be invited to training camp.
2017 Asian Basketball Prospect of the Year – Award given to an Asian player with the potential to be an NBA player
Zhou Qi – came into prominence as a 16 year old Chinese player when he dominated a tournament in Europe back in 2013 – scoring in the 40s, rebounds in 20s and blocks almost 10 per game. The 7’2″ CBA player was drafted in the 2nd round of the NBA draft by the Houston Rockets in 2016. Qi remained in the CBA for a season then played in the 2017 NBA Summer league. Qi showed his effectiveness on the defensive end of the court.
Ding Yanyuhang was impressive at the 2017 NBA Summer League,
2017 Asian Ultimate Frisbee Player of the Year – Award given to an Ultimate Disc player
Bryan Nguyen of the Los Angeles Aviators helped his team reach the playoffs. He caught 52 goals to lead the team and was one of the league leaders in goals.
2017 Asian Ultimate Frisbee Cutter of the Year – Award given to an Asian who catches a lot of goals in Ultimate Frisbee
Matt Yun Huang Smith had another terrific season for the Atlanta Hustle. His 58 goals and 22 assists are numbers an All-Star player normally gets. His turnover-free style of game is impressive considering he threw 339 passes with only 6 turnovers.
2017 Asian Ultimate Frisbee Handler of the Year – Award given to an Asian who throws a lot of assists in Ultimate Frisbee
Chuck Cao of the San Jose Spiders threw 46 Assists, besting his 42 assists the season before. His 97% completion ranked him first on the team. Honorable mention: Justin Norden.
2017 Asian Ultimate Frisbee Newcomer of the Year – Award given to a young Asian who shows star potential in Ultimate Frisbee
Tommy Li of the Seattle Cascades had some spectacular diving layouts for goals scored. The young player can score goals as well as throw for assists.
2017 Asian Baseball Player of the Year
Jung-ho Kang in his 2nd second improved on his very respectable MLB rookie season. Kang helped the Pittsburgh Pirates reach the post season. He lead all Asians and most secondbasemen in homerun with 21 despite missing a third of the season recoving from a knee injury.
2017 Asian Baseball Newcomer of the Year
Hyun-soo Kim did not have a good spring training to start his rookie season in the MLB. When the Baltimore Orioles intended to send him to the minors there was a clause in Kim’s contract to allow him to decline the assignment to the minors. Kim’s refusal to be sent to the minors had Orioles fans booing him early on. But Kim quickly became a fan favorite, hitting for an absurd batting average (0.400) for the majority of the year.
2017 Asian Power-hitter of the Year
Byung-ho Park was one of the early league leaders in homeruns with 9 in the first month and a half. He then went into a slump and was demoted to the minors. He ended the season with 12 home runs but did display his power hitting ability hitting some of the longest hit balls in the year.
2017 Asian Pitcher of the Year
Masahiro Tanaka is the ace of the New York Yankees pitching staff, but it was rookie Kenta Maeda who started his rookie season with a big splash for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maeda hit a home run in his first game and threw a shut out.
2017 Asian Hockey Player of the Year
Matt Dumba was a first round pick of the Minnesota Wild. Dumba who is Filipino has steadily improved to be a good offensive defenseman. Dumba finished the 2016-17 season with 11 goals and 23 assists with a +/- of +15.
2017 Asian Football Player of the Year
Half Samoan Marcus Mariota had another solid season for the Tennessee Titans. Mariota threw for 3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns with only 9 interceptions. The young quarterback continues to improve and could soon lead the Titans to the playoffs.
2017 Asian College Football Player of the Year
Starting running back John Nguyen of the Montana Grizzlies finish his senior season with 945 yards of total offense (679 rushing). Nguyen also had 2 touchdowns.
2017 Asian Fighter of the Year
Manny Pacquaio fought against Floyd Mayweather in the fight of the century and went toe-to-toe for the entire 12 rounds. Pacquaio is one of the highest earning athletes in the world.
2017 Asian MMA Fighter of the Year
Doo-ho Choi is a 5’10” featherweight who has shown star qualities in his young MMA career. Many of his UFC fights have ended in TKOs in the first round earning him “Fights of the Night”. In his last fight against Cub Swanson, they got “Fight of the Year” after battling hard for the entire 3 rounds.
2017 Asian Soccer Player of the Year – Award given to an Asian soccer player playing in America
Midfielder Lee Nguyen continues to be the offensive force for the New England Revolution. Again snubbed for the MLS All-Star game, year-after-year Nguyen puts up big numbers. He scores goals and create chances for his teammates.
Chinese Athlete of the Year
Jeremy Lin could easily be the Chinese/Taiwanese player of the year every single year, but this year, Yao Ming takes that honor. Yao Ming is no longer playing in the NBA, but he’s still very much involved in sports. Not only is he the owner of the Shanghai Sharks (who signed MVP Jimmer Fredette), he was assigned the head job of running the top basketball league in China (CBA). Not only that, he was inducted into the NBA Hall-of-Fame — the first Asian to be inducted into any Hall-of-Fame.
Japanese Athlete of the Year
Striker Shinji Okazaki and his team Leicester City made international headlines when the team became English Premier League champions by beating the odds. Okazaki scored 6 goals during the season.
Korean Athlete of the Year
Dae-ho Lee is the long time firstbaseman for the Korean national baseball team. He played many years in Korea and also in Japan. For many years, people thought Lee’s power would translate to the MLB. At aged 35, he finally got his chance when he signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners. Lee made the opening day roster and proceeded to hit game-winning home runs and became a fan favorite. In part time duty, he hit a respectable 14 homeruns with a .253 average.
Vietnamese Athlete of the Year
Tommy Pham is having a great season for the St. Louis Cardinals. On the verge of being waived by the team, Pham was given one last opportunity to prove he could be an MLB player. After being brought up to the majors in mid-season, Pham has 14 homeruns with a .311 batting average. Projected through an entire season, Pham would hit 30 homeruns.
Filipino Athlete of the Year
Manny Pacquiao could be president of the country if he ever wanted and could be the Filipino athlete of the year for the past 2 decades. But this year, the basketball-loving country was following one of their own every closely in the NCAA ranks hoping he could one day be an NBA player. The high-flying dunker Kobe Paras was on the highly ranked team, Creighton. Paras didn’t get much playing time but he did get plenty of attention.
Asian Female Athlete of the Year
MMA fighter Bi Nguyen was signed by King of the Cage to an exclusive contract. Bi stands 5’0″ tall and weighs 105 lbs. Her record is 3-1. Her lost was to a decision to Andy Nguyen.