KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — WWE superstar and Knoxville native Bianca Belair was named Female Wrestler of the Year in an article from ESPN Tuesday.

Belair posted to Twitter to show her appreciation, and to thank those who supported her and competed against her.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of 2022 year accolades! 2021 what a year. 2022 an even better year. 2023 keep that same energy. THANK YOU to my fans and ALL of my competitors, Preciate y’all!!!!”

Bianca Belair – @BiancaBelairWWE on Twitter

According to ESPN, “Belair was arguably the best performer in the world in 2022, and the competition was steep.”

Belair is most known for her athleticism, decorative outfits and signature long-braided ponytail in WWE and for winning titles in WWE Women’s Royal Rumble, WWE Elimination Chamber, WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship and WWE Bumpy Awards for Best Match of the Half-Year.

However, for most East Tennesseans, Belair was always a competitor and an athlete even before she joined WWE. She was a graduate of the University of Tennessee. During her time at UT, Belair was on the track and field team.

Belair was also a 2007 graduate of Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville. She even surprised the students at her alma mater last year prior to the WWE Friday Night Smackdown at Thompson-Boling Arena.