Kayla Burt Named ESPY Award Nominee
June 24, 2005
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Washington junior guard Kayla Burt has been named a nominee for an ESPY award, ESPN announced Friday. Burt is one of four athletes nominated for Best Comeback. The ESPY Awards, which will be decided by a vote of fans, will be presented Wednesday, July 13, at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood and broadcast on ESPN on Sunday, July 17 at 6 p.m. PT.
Fans can vote for all ESPY nominees at www.espn.com.
Also nominated 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 was this year's recipient of the fifth annual V Foundation Comeback Award, a national award presented in memory of the late basketball coach and ESPN commentator Jim Valvano.
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.