The ownership group of the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Fort Wayne Mad Ants has been named 2017 International Citizen of the Year. The award from the International Center in Indianapolis honors Hoosiers who have "fostered a world view in Indiana" through contributions to globalizing the state.
The organization says the contributions come from the business, cultural, educational, governmental, medical, research, media, sports and community service worlds. It’s not the first time the award has gone to a group instead of individuals. In 2008, the IU-Kenya Partnership was recognized.
"The impact that the Pacers, together with the Indiana Fever and under the extraordinary leadership of the Simon Family, have had on our city and state’s international profile is enormous. People from all around the world have trained their eyes on and followed the career of some of the world’s most gifted basketball talent, right here in Indiana," International Center Board Chair Marsha Stone said. "But beyond the reputation they enjoy around the world, Pacers Sports & Entertainment’s owners and top management have long embraced the diversity and values that The International Center holds dear."
PS&E will be recognized during an event September 13 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.
Previous winners of the award are:
- 2016 Dr. Michael A. McRobbie
- 2015 Dr. John C. Lechleiter
- 2014 Mayor Greg Ballard and Mrs. Winnie Ballard
- 2013 Mark Miles
- 2011 Tim Solso
- 2010 Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
- 2008 IU-Kenya Partnership
- 2007 Dr. Martin C. Jischke
- 2006 Ambassador Randall L. Tobias
- 2005 James T. Morris
- 2004 Christel DeHaan
- 2003 30th Anniversary Award: The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
- 2002 Rev. Fr. Boniface Hardin, O.S.B.
- 2001 Sidney Taurel
- 2000 Tony George
- 1999 Jeff Smulyan
- 1998 Bret Waller
- 1997 Lawrence H. Einhorn, M.D.
- 1996 Kai and Tom Binford
- 1995 KP Singh
- 1993 Margaret Sheridan
- 1993 Dr. Geoffrey Bannister
- 1991 Maestro Raymond Leppard
- 1990 The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton
- 1990 Sr. Marie Pierre Buttell
- 1989 The Honorable William H. Hudnut
- 1989 George Mikelsons
- 1987 The Honorable Robert D. Orr
- 1986 The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
- 1985 Riad Shaheen