Wednesday night’s 20th annual ESPY awards celebrated the top sports headliners over the past calendar year with LEBRON JAMES and Baylor women’s basketball star BRITTNEY GRINER winning multiple awards. Griner won the Female Athlete of the Year award as well as Female College Athlete award while James won top honors in the Male Athlete, NBA player and Championship Performance categories. Snapshots of other ESPY award winners:
Clockwise (LtoR): Jeremy Lin wins Best Breakthrough Athlete; Drew Brees accepts for Record-Breaking Performance; Best Play went to Indy’s Christian Watford for his shocking buzzer-beater versus No. 1 Kentucky; Legendary Women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt receives the Arthur Ashe Courage award for her battle against Alzheimer’s Disease; Matthew Stafford took Best Comeback Athlete honors; L.A. Kings players Matt Greene, Dustin Brown and Dustin Penner accept the award for Biggest Upset on behalf of the Stanley Cup champions; Griner sports the Espy for Best Female Athlete; Mike Miller and Juwan Howard accept Team of the Year honors for the Miami Heat; Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas win Best Moment award for 80-yard TD that upset the Steelers in NFL playoffs; Aaron Rodgers leaves ESPYs with NFL Player of the Year award.
Other award winners include Josh Hamilton (MLB Player), the NY Giants’ Tom Coughlin (Coach of the Year) and Robert Griffin III (Male College Athlete) just to name a few.
But the most moving award went to former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who won the Jimmy V award for Perseverance. This young man’s incredible courage and resolve in battling a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed is nothing short of remarkable.
“My dream is to get back on my feet and walk again,” LeGrand told the audience after a standing ovation. “You can best believe that I’ll never give up.”
That is why I love sports. It brings out the best of the human spirit.