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NCAA champion Pat Christenson elected to Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame



LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame executive committee announced today the Class of 2013, including nationally-respected event coordinator and college wrestling star Pat Christenson.

“The Class of 2013 represents a cross-section of Nevadans who have made significant contributions to the Las Vegas community,” said Hall of Fame Chairman Jeff Motley. “Some have brought worldwide attention to our area with their athletic prowess, while others have been instrumental in building Las Vegas as a city known for staging firstclass, major sporting events. We are thrilled to bestow upon them the state’s highest sports honor in welcoming them to the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.”

Christenson has been a pioneer in special events for more than 30 years. He began his career in venue management in 1980 as event coordinator for the UNLV Athletic Department, while also serving as the Assistant Wrestling coach. In 1983, he was promoted to assistant director of the newly built 18,500-seat Thomas & Mack Center. He also took over the programming for the 30,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium. From 1983 - 1992, the Thomas & Mack Center and Sam Boyd Stadium were arguably the two most successful venues in the country, averaging 175 events per year. In 1991, he was promoted to director of both venues. In 2001, Christenson accepted a position as president of Las Vegas Events. Since 2001, LVE has produced and presented more than 450 events.

Christenson is an active supporter of wrestling, and was integral in organizing the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for wrestling and judo in Las Vegas, with Las Vegas Events serving as the local organizing committee. In 1976 he was a NCAA champion for the University of Wisconsin, earning All-American honors, was named an NWCA All-Star and was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

Other inductees this year in the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame include Andre Agassi, Bill Bobier, Stephanie Louden, Chris Powell and Dana White.

The six inductees will be honored Friday, May 31 at the Orleans Arena. For ticket information and additional details about the induction ceremony, please go to www.sportshalloffame.net.

The Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization committed to recognizing the outstanding achievements by Southern Nevada athletes, both in the world of sports and the local community.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to organizations committed to the support and enhancement of Southern Nevada youth through active participation in programs designed to promote leadership, values and character through sports.

After turning pro at the age of 16, tennis prodigy Andre Agassi rose to international fame, earning 60 men’s singles titles, including eight Grand Slam singles championships, over a 20-year career. A former World No. 1 player, Agassi is the only male player ever to win all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. While his tennis career took him all over the world, Agassi always stayed connected to his hometown of Las Vegas. In 1994, at the age of 24, he created the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. Over 17 years, the Foundation has honed its mission to focus on transforming public education. In 2001, in partnership with the Clark County School District, the Foundation opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy (Agassi Prep) in West Las Vegas. Currently, Agassi continues to focus on his Foundation and promoting education reform.

Bobier turned Valley High School in Las Vegas into a basketball powerhouse. During his tenure, he recorded a record of 215-100, including four consecutive state titles from 1979 to 1983. Freddie Banks, who went on to star at UNLV, arrived in 1980 and won three titles under Bobier. He retired from coaching in 1986 and was named by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as No. 9 in its top-10 list of local coaches of the 20th Century. In 1998, he was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame.

A native of Las Vegas, Louden is an accomplished golfer. She developed her game playing at Las Vegas Municipal Golf Course. As a youth, she became a three-time AJGA All-American selection and later attended Cimarron-Memorial High School, where she won the 1996 Nevada State Championship. A four-time All-American at Stanford, Louden’s impressive amateur career took off after she won the 1997 Women’s Western Amateur Championship. From 1998-99, she was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. In 1998, she was a finalist at the Women’s Trans-National. In
2001, she turned professional after qualifying for the Tour on her first attempt. She has played full-time on the LPGA for the past eleven years.

After spending 10 years with R.J. Reynolds Sports Marketing Enterprises, Powell was named president and general manager of Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1998. Since Powell’s arrival at LVMS, the speedway has generated more than $2.5 billion for the Las Vegas economy. Powell has overseen phenomenal growth of the speedway including the construction of a new drag strip, short track, two new superspeedway grandstands and the Neon Garage. Each year, LVMS hosts NASCAR Weekend, one of the most highly anticipated and highly attended motorsports weekends in America, two NHRA drag racing national events, NASCAR Trucks and the Electric Daisy Carnival.

White, President of Zuffa, LLC and UFC and co-owner of its assets, oversees a company of more than 200 employees across three continents. Alongside UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, White directs the continued worldwide expansion of the business from the company’s headquarters in Las Vegas. Since Zuffa, LLC acquired the UFC organization in January 2001, he has built the UFC into the fastest-growing sports organization in history. The UFC organization now presents more than 30 live events per year across the world, produces over a dozen TV shows and accounts for thousands of hours of broadcast and cable programming in 28 different languages in 145 countries. The UFC has shattered box office records across the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Japan and Brazil.
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