Since 1993, the sports world has gathered for one night each summer for the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards, simply referred to as, the “ESPYs.” Hosted by award-winning actor Jon Hamm, the 2013 ESPY Awards had few surprises during ESPN’s live telecast on July 17 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, conveniently held during the MLB All-Star break on the evening of what many dub the “quietest day in sports.”
The ceremony recognizes 35 winners in all through online fan voting, with honors being handed out for a wide variety of categories such as Best Athlete, Best Moment, Best Championship Performance, and Best Team, as well as accolades for the top athletes in individual professional sports and at the collegiate level.
Viewers following along at home on Twitter were treated to notable stats throughout the night regarding some of the award winners. According to @ESPNStatsInfo, LeBron James became the first repeat winner of Best Male Athlete since Lance Armstrong collected four straight from 2003-06. James also prevailed in the categories of Best Championship Performance and Best NBA Player, in addition to joining Miami Heat teammates on stage in accepting the award for Best Team. The Heat also were recognized with the San Antonio Spurs for the Game 6 NBA Finals battle that was voted Best Game.
Other major ESPY Awards went to Serena Williams (Best Female Athlete), Colin Kaepernick (Best Breakthrough Athlete), Michael Phelps (Best Record-Breaking Performance), Rick Pitino (Best Coach/Manager), Adrian Peterson (Best Comeback), Johnny Manziel (Best Male College Athlete), Brittney Griner (Best Female College Athlete), Jeremy Campbell (Best Male Athlete with a Disability), Jessica Long (Best Female Athlete with a Disability), and Usain Bolt (Best International Athlete).
The ESPYs also serve to recognize individuals that have made a significant impact over the course of the past year. The 2013 Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which was established in 1993 to honor the late Jim Valvano, went to Robin Roberts. Though currently the anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Roberts had been a sportscaster for ESPN in the 90s and up until 2005, and since then, has successfully defeated bouts of breast cancer and more recently, myelodysplastic syndrome, which required a bone marrow transplant. She triumphantly returned to “Good Morning America” just six months following surgery.
One of the other memorable moments from the night belonged to none other than the award for Best Moment, which went to seven-year-old brain cancer patient, Jack Hoffman. The youngster, who finished his last round of chemotherapy in June, is a big Nebraska fan who was invited to participate in the Cornhuskers’ annual Red-White Spring Football Game this past April. During the final quarter of the contest, the team invited Hoffman on to the field for a play, which led to a 69-yard touchdown run (captured in the video below), and without a doubt, a deserving selection for the sports world’s Best Moment.