(L to R) Yussuf Khan, GM, The Shadow League; Lester Booker Jr., Buick USA, Buick Communications; Claressa Shields, honoree, Women’s WBC and IBF super-middleweight champion; Richard Cho, honoree, general manager of the Charlotte Hornets; Andrea Williams, honoree, commissioner of the Big Sky Conference; and Keith Clinkscales, CEO, The Shadow League. (251716)
Credit: Contributed

The fourth annual Shadow League Awards, presented by Buick, held Wednesday, Nov. 8, at ESPACE (New York City), was a huge success. More than 130 friends and supporters of The Shadow League were in attendance to honor three extraordinary trailblazers in sports: Richard Cho, general manager of the Charlotte Hornets and the first Asian-American general manager in NBA history; Claressa Shields, Women’s WBC and IBF super-middleweight champion and the first American boxer to win consecutive Olympic medals; and Andrea Williams, commissioner of the Big Sky Conference and the first African-American woman to serve as commissioner for a Division 1 conference.

During the cocktail hour, guests were entertained by the soulful and eclectic sound of Eliki.  DJ D-Nice rounded out the evening, creating an uplifting spirited vibe with music from several genres that kept the audience on their feet.

Entertainment journalist Gia Peppers, who among other things also serves as the voice of the Washington Wizards, served as the master of ceremonies, introducing attendees to the honorees. 

One by one, the honorees shared remarks that left the audience both inspired and in awe, with Richard Cho rounding out the awards portion of the night with advice to those who are still climbing and aiming for their goals. “Think outside the box, make some sacrifices and do some things that you are not totally comfortable with,” he said.

Before closing the program, GM of The Shadow League, Yussuf Khan, announced that The Shadow League would screen its first full-length documentary entitled “Flexatron—Becoming Shawn Rhoden,” under Shadow League Films in February 2018. The documentary profiles Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden, one of the top bodybuilders in the sports arena. The documentary is about more than Rhoden’s story; it’s a tale of how sports can inspire, shape and, ultimately, save lives.

Buick’s partnership with The Shadow League has continued to grow over the past two years, including engagements during NCAA College Football and the Final Four. 

During the evening, both the Buick Encore and Lacrosse were on display for attendees to experience.

This week has been a busy week for Buick as the brand just announced the debut of the Buick LaCrosse Avenir, Buick’s highest expression of luxury, which is expected to arrive at dealers in early 2018. With the arrival of the 2018 LaCrosse Avenir, Buick’s new sub-brand expands its offerings and provides a way for customers to experience the highest expression of Buick luxury.

Since 2014, The Shadow League has honored and celebrated individuals in sports who excel and remove barriers outside the mainstream. In an industry that inspires us all to utilize our determination and strengths in a positive way, there are unsung heroes who have an impact on sports in ways that might not be covered on the nightly news, yet their impact resonates on the various courts, fields, and arenas and in boardrooms across America. Previous TSL honorees have included David Rone, former president of Time Warner Cable Networks and Time Warner Cable Sports; Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions; Christine Simmons, president and COO of LA Sparks; and Terence Crawford, unified light-welterweight champion.