Cleveland sports stars to serve as Grand Marshals
CLEVELAND - Three Cleveland sports heroes and the world’s top racecar drivers will come together this weekend on the shores of Lake Erie, as officials announced today that Cleveland Cavaliers legend Larry Nance and Cleveland Browns stars Joshua Cribbs and Ryan Tucker will serve as Grand Marshals of the 2007 Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank.
The Grand Marshals will participate throughout race weekend in a variety of activities at the Grand Prix, which takes place June 22-24 at Burke Lakefront Airport. All three will play a key role in the Grand Prix’s opening ceremonies before Sunday’s main event, which will also include a concert with Ian Hunter and flyover by two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets. At 1:00 p.m., the 750 horsepower Champ Cars will roar to life when Nance, Cribbs and Tucker declare the famous words “Drivers, Start Your Engines!”
Nance is a long-time motorsports enthusiast and owns Larry Nance Racing, a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Race Team. On display at the Grand Prix will be his ’53 Race Trailer and Pro Stock Chevy Cobalt within the D.A. Motorsports area, which will also host the Advance Auto Parts Grave Digger Monster Truck Simulator. Nance will be greeting fans all weekend, so Grand Prix attendees are encouraged to bring their Cavs memorabilia for Nance to autograph. The D.A. Motorsports area will be part of the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Family Fun Zone at the Grand Prix.
Nance is well known as one of the best power forwards in NBA history, and was a three-time NBA All-Star and winner of the NBA’s first Slam Dunk Contest. Nance has remained a fixture in Cleveland and his #22 jersey was retired by the Cavaliers in 1995. The 6’10” forward from Clemson was a NBA All-Star in 1985, 1989, and 1993, and the NBA All-Defensive Team First Team member in 1989, and the Second Team Member in 1992 and 1993. He was also consistently one of the league's better shot blockers, averaging 2.2 blocks per game during his career. Nance has remained a fixture in Cleveland and his #22 jersey was retired by the Cavaliers in 1995.
Ryan Tucker signed with the Cleveland Browns as an unrestricted free agent on March 7, 2002. The offensive lineman from TCU was originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round, 121st overall, of the 1997 NFL Draft, and he helped pave the way for RB Marshall Faulk (2000) and QB Kurt Warner (1999, 2001) to three NFL MVP awards. Tucker is active in the Cleveland community and donates his time to various non-profit organizations including building a home with Habitat For Humanity, the Taste of the NFL program to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank, the Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway program and the holiday Clothe-A-Child program. His brother, Rex, plays offensive guard for the Chicago Bears and he and his wife, Karla, have two sons, Trevor (8/13/01) and Trenton (1/27/03).
Joshua Cribbs was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Browns on April 29, 2005 out of Kent State University. The wide receiver has served primarily as a kick returner for the Browns, using his blinding speed to electrify fans at Browns Stadium. Cribbs played quarterback at Kent State, where he is the all-time total offense leader with 10,839 yards. He is one of only two players in NCAA history to record both 1,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in as many as two different seasons, the other being Vince Young of Texas. Cribbs is also the only player in NCAA history to lead his team in both rushing and passing in four different seasons. The Washington, D.C. native was also a standout high school athlete, and led his football team to the DCIAA West Division title and the city championship.
For more information on the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank contact the event’s downtown business office at (216) 619-RACE (7223) or visit www.grandprixofcleveland.com.