ESPY nominations revealed with strong Pac-12 presence across various awards
ESPN announced on Wednesday, June 16 the nominees for the 2021 ESPYS which fans will decide the winners of in a number of categories. The winners are set to be formally announced on Saturday, July 10 at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Across the field of nominees, from current collegiate stars to former student-athletes, were several connections from Pac-12 universities and athletics programs in a number of categories, including Best Team, Best Male Collegiate Athlete, Best Record-Breaking Performance, Best NFL Player, Best MLB Player, Best International Athlete in Women's Soccer, Best Athlete in Men's Golf, Best Breakthrough Athlete and Best Game.
For a full list of nominees as well as the ESPN announcement and to vote, see here. Pac-12 connections across the nominations for the 2021 ESPYS include (click each category to vote):
- Best Team: Stanford Women's Basketball
- Best College Athlete, Men's Sports: Gloire Amanda (Oregon State Soccer)
- Best Breakthrough Athlete: Justin Herbert (NFL)
- Best Game: Stanford 54, Arizona 53 (Women's Basketball NCAA title game) and Gonzaga 93, UCLA 90 (Men's Basketball NCAA Final Four)
- Best Record-Breaking Performance: Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer passes Pat Summitt for most wins in NCAA Women’s basketball history (1,099), Phil Mickelson, PGA Championship – oldest winner of a major tournament with his victory and Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards – breaks Oscar Robertson’s 47-year-old triple-double record with 182
- Best International Athlete, Women's Soccer: Sam Mewis, Manchester City/USA National Team
- Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
- Best MLB Player: Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds (2020), LA Dodgers (2021)
- Best Athlete, Men's Golf: Phil Mickelson
- Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award: Layshia Clarendon, Minnesota Lynx (finalist)
Pac-12 athletics programs represented among the nominees include: Stanford Women's Basketball (NCAA title game, best team and Tara VanDerveer), Oregon State Men's Soccer (Gloire Amanda), Oregon Football (Justin Herbert), Arizona Women's Basketball (NCAA title game), UCLA Men's Basketball (NCAA title game and Russell Westbrook), Arizona State Men's Golf (Phil Mickelson), UCLA Women's Soccer (Sam Mewis), Cal Football (Aaron Rodgers) and Women's Basketball (Layshia Clarendon) and UCLA Baseball (Trevor Bauer).
The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award is presented to an athlete who has made a continuous, positive impact on their community through sports and leadership. The winner, who will be announced during the 2021 ESPYS, will be able to donate a $100,000 grant from ESPN to a qualified charity of their choice and all three finalists will be able to donate $25,000 to a charity related to their award-winning efforts. The finalists and winners have been determined by an independent selection committee and are not open for a fan vote.
The ESPYS help to raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the charity founded by ESPN and late basketball coach Jim Valvano at the first ESPYS in 1993. ESPN has helped raise more than $134 million for the V Foundation over the past 28 years.