SALT LAKE CITY — Utah sports fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite athlete, coach, play and event during the inaugural Governor's State of Sport Awards, hosted by the Utah Sports Commission and presented by Zions Bank. The awards celebrate Utah's sports community and honor excellence in high school, amateur, collegiate, Olympic and professional sports. The event will also recognize key sports people and partners who have been instrumental in helping to build Utah's sports industry.

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert will offer remarks and present awards along with NBA commissioner David J. Stern, who will be speaking to those in attendance at the awards luncheon on Thursday, April 5 at EnergySolutions Arena.

"I am pleased to be part of this great event to recognize excellence in sports and I would also like to extend a very special welcome and thank you to commissioner Stern for joining us," said Gov. Herbert. "Utah is an outstanding sports community, and I am honored to take part in the inaugural Governor's State of Sport Awards luncheon," said Stern.

The awards will be for the 2011 calendar year and will include female high school athlete, male high school athlete, female collegiate or pro athlete, male collegiate or pro athlete, play or highlight of the year, game or event of the year and coach of the year.

The nominees were selected by a committee comprised of members of the sports media and community at large. Beginning March 13, fans can visit and select their favorite nominee in each category. Voting will conclude on Friday, March 30 at midnight. The winners, chosen by sports fans throughout Utah, will then be honored at the April 5 ceremony.

In addition, a Lifetime Achievement in Sport award will be presented posthumously to Larry H. Miller, legendary Utah sports entrepreneur, athlete and philanthropist.

"Larry would be honored to receive this award," said Gail Miller. "He believed that bringing professional sports to our community benefits our state as well as the people who live here by giving them a place to go to and enjoy some time away from their normal daily routine."?

2011 nominees

High School Athlete Male

Chase Hansen - Football, Lone Peak High School

DJ Nelson - Football, Logan High School

Kayden Porter - Baseball, Spanish Fork High School

Jordan Loveridge - Basketball, West Jordan High School

High School Athlete Female

Lexi Eaton - Basketball, Springville High School

Brittney Martin - Basketball, Syracuse High School

Emily Bruder - Soccer, Juan Diego High School

MaCauley Flint - Softball, Roy High School

College or Pro Athlete Male

Jimmer Fredette - Basketball, Brigham Young University

Eric Weddle - Safety, San Diego Chargers

Louie Vito - Snowboarding

Kyle Beckerman - Midfielder, Real Salt Lake

College or Pro Athlete Female

Carlee Payne - Soccer, Brigham Young University

Stephanie McAllister - Gymnastics, University of Utah

Katherine Reutter - Speedskating, U.S. Speedskating

Michelle Plouffe - Basketball, University of Utah

Game or Event of the Year

University of Utah vs Georgia Tech Football

BYU defeats Gonzaga in NCAA Tournament

Summer/Winter Dew Tour

Nationwide Tour Utah Championship

Play or Highlight of the Year

Jimmer 3-Pointer vs University of Utah

BYU touchdown vs Utah State University

University of Utah touchdown vs Georgia Tech

Saborio Goal vs Seattle Sounders

Coach of the Year

Dave Rose - Basketball, Brigham Young University

Gary Andersen - Football, Utah State University

Stew Morrill - Basketball, Utah State University

Jason Kreis - Soccer, Real Salt Lake