Just when it seemed like pretty much every organization in Tennessee had (deservedly) honored Dolly Parton, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame named the country music legend its Tennessean of the Year.
Per the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, "The Tennessean of the Year recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to society through sports or other methods, demonstrating strong character and high-profile leadership."
A statement from Parton offered her usual East Tennessee charm and self-deprecating humor.
"This will come as a shock to most of you, but I'm not very athletic. Ha ha," Parton said, as reported by Bristol's WCYB. "I just couldn't find tennis shoes, cleats, or blades with five-inch heels, so I gave up and settled for music. Seriously, I have always been a proud Tennessee girl and have supported all our athletics through the years; so, of course, I'm thrilled to be honored by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame."
The organization will also honor Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans' star running back and a key player in the team's AFC Championship Game run, with its Pro Athlete of the Year Award. Henry led the NFL in rushing in 2019.
Other honorees include Cumberland University baseball coach Woody Hunt (the Pat Summitt Lifetime Achievement Award) and former Vanderbilt University basketball star and NBA player Perry Wallace (the David Williams Significant Historical Achievement Award).
Each award will be formally presented on August 1, if COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions get scaled back by then, at the Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremony at the Omni Nashville Hotel, which is connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is located inside the Bridgestone Arena (501 Broadway) in downtown Nashville, TN.
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