Athletes of all skill levels get "blue carpet" treatment at WI Sports Awards

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's not easy to get the likes of Eddie Lacy, Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers and Bo Ryan in one place at the same time -- but these sports figures and many others were in Milwaukee on Thursday night, April 24th for the Wisconsin Sports Awards program. The program honors athletes of all skill levels, from high school, to college, to the professional level.

The third Wisconsin Sports Awards program was held at the Kern Center in downtown Milwaukee.

The athletes on hand on Thursday night have huge accomplishments -- but they're also sports fans. The event gave them the opportunity to rub elbows with other athletes, walk the "blue carpet" and spend some quality time with their teammates.

"It's going to be cool to meet some people! We're all big Packers fans here, so it's cool to meet those guys. We already got to meet Aaron," Badgers guard Josh Gasser said.

"It's always good to see who shows up. It's good to see Bo (Ryan) coming off a great season. It's a great event. I think it's getting better every year -- obviously bigger. I think the carpet is about 40 feet longer than the last couple years combined, so that's good," Aaron Rodgers said.

"I just made a wrong turn and I saw this blue carpet and 'hey, there's a lot of people I know over there. Let's go in there,'" Ryan said.

"To get all of these people from high school, college and the professional ranks in the same building -- I think it's exciting," former Wave coach Keith Tozer said.

"I'm just happy to be here. I'm just excited to be here. I love Milwaukee," Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy said.

"I wish it was a red carpet! That'd be a little cooler," Badgers forward Sam Dekker said.

"You know, it's fun. You get people that you have the same connection -- sports," Bo Ryan said.

Packers running back Eddie Lacy needed a bit of help tying his tie -- as the athletes put on their Sunday best for the event.

"I'll be honest with you: I thought everybody knew how to tie a tie, and I remember when I went to college, guys used to have their ties hanging on a hanger. Hey, if you're going to go with a clip on, you've gotta do what you've gotta do, right?" McCarthy said.

The winners of awards on Thursday night are as follows:

Matt Ferris, Appleton Xavier High School
High School Football Player of the Year

Arike Ogunbowale, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School
Goodwill Power of Work Girls High School Basketball Player of the Year

Luke Fischer, Germantown High School
Rick Majerus Boys High School Basketball Player of the Year

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Homegrown Award

Lance Leipold, UW-Whitewater football
College Coach of the Year

Chris Borland, University of Wisconsin football
College Athlete of the Year

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Baird Community Involved Player of the Year

Matt Kenseth, NASCAR
Professional Athlete of the Year

Green Bay Packers
Time Warner Cable Business Class Fan Friendly Team of the Year

Ebony Nettles-Bey, Verona High School
Associated Bank Inspirational Player of the Year

Steve Showalter, Germantown High School boys basketball
Gruber Law Offices Coach of the Year

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
ATI Player of the Year

Germantown High School boys basketball
American Family Insurance Dream Team of the Year

December 29, 2013 – Packers vs. Bears (33-28)
Potawatomi Game of the Year

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Wisconsin Sports Awards!