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06/16/2013 - 11:58am

By Craig Rybczynski -- Awards are usually reserved for the end of the season, but not for Joe Walters.

This offseason, Walters will receive one of the most prestigious awards bestowed on an athlete from Rochester. On Tuesday night, the Rochester Knighthawks star will receive the Elliot Cushing Award for promoting his sport on a national level.

“It’s very humbling. Abby Wambach is a past winner and to be mentioned in the same breath is very special,” said Walters about the star of the United States women’s national soccer team. “I am from Rochester and take great pride in that. It’s very exciting to win this award.”

By winning the Rochester Press-Radio Club award he joins past award winners like Wambach, US Olympic pole vaulting gold medalist Jenn Stuczynski, and San Diego Padres utility man Andy Parrino to name a few. At the 64th Annual Day of Champions Dinner, Walters will take home the award named after the Press-Radio Club's first president, who founded the annual charity dinner in 1950.

Over the past two years, Walters has registered the best seasons of his professional lacrosse career en route to back-to-back NLL Championships. In the playoff runs, Walters has been one of the team’s top contributors, notching 25 points in six games.

In the 2012 NLL title game, in front of a national TV audience, Walters assisted on three goals as Rochester rallied from a four-goal deficit to defeat the Edmonton Rush 9-6. He concluded the playoffs second on the Knighthawks with 13 playoff points.

In 2013, after setting career highs in goals, assists and points, Walters chipped in three goals and nine assists in the playoffs. His most important goal was in the fourth quarter of the NLL Finals, and proved to be the game winner. Once again, the hometown star was able to bring the Cup back home to Rochester.

“I have a great sense of pride in being a Rochesterian, knowing how much lacrosse means to this region,” said Walters. “Seeing the excitement of the fans lets us know how much the team means to them.”

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