DENVER – The Nuggets will honor two Colo. high schools and an individual athlete on Wednesday March 25, during pre-game of the Nuggets vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.  The high schools are recognized for dedication to their respective athletic training programs as part of the Excellence in High School Athletic Training awards program.  The Comeback Athlete of the Year award is given to an athlete to appreciate his or her efforts in recovering from an injury or illness not necessarily related to sports performance.
The 2015 High School Athletic Training award recipients are David Whitelock of Thunder Ridge High School (Highlands Ranch) and Ryan Fonkert of Douglas County High School (Castle Rock).  The awards program is based on the concept of Jim Gillen, former head athletic trainer for the Nuggets.  “There is a great need for certified athletic trainers in our high schools,” Gillen said. “For the past twelve years, we have helped Colorado and Wyoming High Schools, provide excellent care to their athletes and also educate students who want to pursue a career in athletic training.”  ThunderRidge and Douglas County athletic training departments will receive $2,000 each to help support and maintain training room improvements, supplies and student training.  In addition, each training department will also receive an automated external defibrillator (AED).
The 2015 Comeback Athlete of the Year award goes to Adna Adrovic of Thomas Jefferson High School (Denver).  Adrovic will be awarded a $1,500 scholarship for post-secondary education, and Thomas Jefferson’s athletic training department will get $1,000.
Any high school member of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) that staffs a certified athletic trainer is eligible for the awards.  More than $54,000 has been awarded to twenty-nine high schools throughout Colo. and Wyo. to aid athletic training departments since the program started.  Sponsors include National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association, Centennial Sales, Gold Crown Foundation and Kroenke Sports Charities.

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