CFL’s 2019 MOP becomes first Tiger-Cat and 25th overall winner of Bill Sturrup Award
Brandon Banks, wide receiver for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, was named the 2019 Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year, presented by the Hamilton Spectator, on Thursday night at the 34th annual C.Y.O. Children’s Fundraiser at Carmen’s Banquet Centre in Hamilton. In turn, he received the Bill Sturrup Award, aptly named in honour of the committee’s late president.
Banks, 32, became the first Tiger-Cat to win the award, edging out two other finalists in New York Liberty (WNBA) guard and Hamilton native Kia Nurse, and Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA) guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Past recipients awarded since 1995 include Nurse, Laura Fortino, Mackenzie Hughes, Melissa Tancredi, Ryan Ellis, Kyle Quinlan, Jesse Lumsden (prior to his Tiger-Cats career) and Joanne Malar.
Banks’ 2019 accolades include being named the Canadian Football League’s Most Outstanding Player and his fourth CFL All-Star selection after leading the league in all major receiving categories, including receptions (112), yards (1,550) and touchdowns (13), as well as targets (158) in 16 games. The 5-7, 150-pound native of Garner, North Carolina’s 112 receptions also set a Tiger-Cats’ single-season franchise record, and he helped lead Hamilton to a franchise-best 15-3 record in the regular season and a Grey Cup berth.