On July 2, ESPN announced that the network has tapped Academy Award winner Ben Affleck and LeBron James, the 2013 NBA Finals MVP, to present two very special awards at the upcoming 2013 ESPYS. Hosted in 2013 by Jon Hamm from “Mad Men,” the annual event celebrates the best moments from the year in sports. The nationally televised awards show airs live from the Nokia Theatre at 9 p.m. EST on July 17 on ESPN and ESPN HD.
Every year, sports fans cast online votes for their favorite athletes and best moments of the year. Categories in 2013 include Best Male Athlete, Best Team, Best Breakthrough Athlete, Best Game, Best Record-Breaking Performance, Best Female Athlete, Best Comeback, Best Championship Performance, Best Upset, Best Moment and more. In 2012, LeBron James took home three ESPYS and was the biggest winner of the year.
This year, LeBron will present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts. Roberts, who is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, was a high school basketball star in Mississippi and then went on to play four seasons for the Lady Lions basketball team at Southeastern Louisiana University. She ranked among the team’s leaders for points scored, rebounds, field goals made and games played. Roberts has blazed a trail for women in broadcasting, but it is also her personal journey that has served as an inspiration to countless people as she overcame life-threatening illnesses twice. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award will recognize the strength and courage Roberts has displayed throughout her life and career.
Ben Affleck, a proud Boston native, will present the Jimmy V Perseverance Award to Dick and Rick Hoyt, a father and son team, known at Team Hoyt, who have been participating in races together for more than 30 years. Rick, now 51, was born with cerebral palsy and though unable to use his hands or legs, he and his 73-year-old father have run in more than 1,000 endurance events – including triathlons and marathons – with Dick pushing his son in a custom-made running chair. This past Boston Marathon was to be their last marathon, but Team Hoyt was one mile away from finishing when tragedy struck. They have vowed to run again next year, demonstrating their determination in the face of adversity. To learn more about Team Hoyt, be sure to watch the video to the left.
The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2013 ESPYS marks the show’s 21st telecast and will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” and best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. The ESPYS honor ESPN’s commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYS in 1993. Tiger Woods is the most honored ESPY recipient, having received a total of 21 awards.
The first ESPY Awards aired on March 4, 1993. Throughout the years, a variety of comedians, television and film actors and sports stars have hosted the annual event, including:
- Rob Riggle in 2012
- Seth Meyers in 2011 and 2010
- Samuel L. Jackson in 2009
- Justin Timberlake in 2008
- LeBron James and Jimmy Kimmel in 2007
- Lance Armstrong in 2006
- Matthew Perry in 2005
- Jamie Foxx in 2004 and 2003
- Samuel L. Jackson in 2002 and 2001
- Jimmy Smitts in 2000
- Samuel L. Jackson in 1999
- Norm Macdonald in 1998
- Jeff Foxworthy in 1997
- Tony Danza in 1996
- John Goodman in 1995
- Dennis Miller in 1993
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