Last Chance To Vote For Kayla Burt's ESPY Nomination
July 7, 2005
SEATTLE - Just two days remain for fans to cast their vote for Washington women's basketball junior Kayla Burt's ESPY award nomination for 'Best Comeback.' Voting at ESPN.com closes Friday, July 8, at 3 p.m. PT.
The 13th annual ESPY Awards show, hosted by Matthew Perry, will take place Wednesday, July 13, at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, Calif., and will be televised on ESPN, Sunday, July 17, at 6 p.m. PT. Also nominated with Burt in the Best Comeback Category are Mark Fields of the Carolina Panthers, Olympic wrestler Rulon Gardner and Bowling Green University hockey player Jordan Sigalet.
Burt's honors for her comeback to collegiate basketball after suffering cardiac arrest in 2002 continue to roll in as the Arlington, Wash., native was named the winner of the fifth annual V Foundation Comeback Award in March, a national award presented in memory of the late basketball coach and ESPN commentator Jim Valvano. Burt was also selected as the Everett Herald's Woman of the Year in Sports.
Then a sophomore at Washington, Burt suffered a cardiac arrest on New Year's Eve 2002. Her life was saved by the quick thinking of her teammates who performed CPR on her until paramedics arrived at her off-campus house. Burt, who was in a coma for 15 hours, was diagnosed with a rare genetic heart condition, Long QT Syndrome, and a defibrillator was implanted in her chest. With her basketball career seemingly over, Burt rejoined the team as a student assistant coach for the remainder of the 2002-03 season and the 2003-04 season.
During that time, Burt underwent further medical testing, from which results were negative for the heart condition. With the permission of the University of Washington, Burt announced her return to the team on August 17, 2004. Having not played Division I basketball for nearly two years, the 5-11 guard came back to lead the Huskies as a co-captain. She ended the season leading Washington in scoring (9.6 ppg), assists (84), free-throws made (69) and free-throw shooting percentage (75.8 percent). Burt, who started 16 of 29 games, was also second in steals (44) and three-pointers made (44). During the season, Burt ranked among the Top-10 in the Pac-10 in assists, steals, three-pointers and free-throw shooting percentage. She ended the season ranked eighth in the conference in three-pointers with 1.52 per game.