[2009 Co-Winner: Darius McNeal, DeKalb]
McNeal shared this award with Indian Creek's Tim Harrington.
From our story on McNeal that ran in 2009...
Nearly four months after they famously crossed paths, Darius McNeal and Johntell Franklin were back together again; this time, throwing out the first pitch at Thursday's Milwaukee Brewers game in front of 35,467 fans.
While time had separated the two 18- year -olds since their first meeting in Milwaukee on Feb. 7, on Thursday it seemed natural that they were together again as friends. They exchanged pleasantries and then were cheered by the crowd before McNeal took in his first baseball game.
That friendship has helped Franklin get through the past four months since his mother, Carlita, died on Feb. 7. And that camaraderie was solidified when McNeal stepped to the line and purposely missed a pair of free throws after Franklin's Milwaukee Madison team was given a technical when Franklin entered the game.
Franklin wasn't expected to attend the game, so he was not listed in the official scorebook, meaning a technical had to be called when he entered the game.
That act of sportsmanship has led to the pair being featured on everything from ESPN's SportsCenter and ABC News along with getting mentioned in newspapers around the world.
That game is the reason McNeal is one of this [2009's] Daily Chronicle Male Athletes of the Year.