Manning, Kerrigan honored at Iba Awards banquet

Tuesday, May 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan says it's ``kind of embarrassing'' being recognized for helping blind people.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning says he's not raising money for disadvantaged kids so he can win awards.

Both received the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award Monday night at a black-tie banquet in Tulsa.

``I'd like to be the best football player I can be,'' said Manning, whose Peyback Foundation raises money for poor children in Indiana, Tennessee and Louisiana. ``But I'd like to be remembered as a good guy.''

The awards, given to male and female athletes who excel on the field and help others in their personal lives, are named after the late Oklahoma State basketball coach.

Kerrigan was recognized for her work with the Nancy Kerrigan Foundation, a charity honoring her legally blind mother.

``I've watched her struggle every day to make her life benefit others,'' said Kerrigan, who won a silver medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. ``That set an example for me.''

Manning, a Louisiana native who played college football at Tennessee, said celebrity imposes upon him a responsibility to give to the community.

``I think as an athlete you are a role model, whether you like it or not,'' Manning said in an interview before the banquet. ``You decide what you want to do with that platform. I feel like I have an opportunity to try to make an impact.''

Kentucky basketball coach Tubby Smith was the keynote speaker at the banquet, hosted for the ninth year by the Rotary Club of Tulsa.

Smith, who led the Wildcats to a national championship in 1998 and coached at Tulsa, is the first college basketball coach to speak at the awards since Duke's Mike Krzyzewski in 1994.