LeBron James among Sullivan finalists

Feb. 23, 2004 at 5:15 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Cleveland's LeBron James was selected Monday as one of five finalists for the Sullivan Award, given to the United States' top amateur athlete.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, James has averaged 20.6 points, 5.8 assists and 5.7 rebounds with the Cavaliers this season. He has endorsement deals in excess of $130 million. His nomination is for a legendary career at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.

Women's basketball star Diana Taurasi of Connecticut; short track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno; swimmer Michael Phelps; and Philippa "Phil" Raschker, an accomplished multi-event track athlete, are the other Sullivan Award finalists announced Monday by the Amateur Athletic Union.

"This is an extraordinary group of athletes nominated to receive the AAU Sullivan Award for 2003," said AAU president Bobby Dodd. "Each nominee is absolutely outstanding in their sport and deserving of many accolades. Having such remarkable athletes nominated makes the selection process extremely difficult for the voters."

The winner will be announced April 13 in New York. The last two awards went to figure skaters Sarah Hughes in 2002 and Michelle Kwan in 2001.

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