Craig Sager To Make Special Appearance At ABC’s NBA Finals Game 6 Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ABC’s broadcast team is going to have a special guest Thursday night when it broadcasts Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager will join the team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Doris Burke in Thursday night’s broadcast.  The special one-night-only appearance will see Sager join Burke courtside throughout the game’s broadcast on ABC.  This is a very special one-night-only appearance for Sager alongside Burke and company, who are normally competition to Turner Sports.

Sager has released a statement noting his honor at being invited to join Breem and company for Thursday night’s broadcast and his intent to add to the broadcast, not distract from it.  “I’d like to thank Turner and ESPN for approaching me with this tremendous opportunity to be part of The Finals broadcast team,” he said.  “I’ve been watching the series very closely and, while I do not want to distract in any way from the event itself, I look forward to being in the building for what will be an incredibly exciting Game 6.  The NBA community is a very special one and this is a great honor.”

John Wildhack is ESPN Executive Vice President of Production and programming.  He espoused Sager’s reputation as an NBA broadcaster in bringing him in for the broadcast in his own statement.  “Craig is an iconic member of the NBA family who indelibly makes his mark on each and every broadcast. I know our entire team is delighted to work with Craig for Game 6. We all agree his professional reputation is second-to-none, though it’s his personal reputation – that of class, selflessness and respect – which makes this even more special for our team. We hope that this will be a special night for Craig and for NBA fans.”  Wildhack was also certain to note Sager’s interest in the opportunity for bringing him on board for the broadcast as well as his [Wildhack’s] respect for those at Turner Sports in arranging Sager’s appearance.  “We are grateful for his interest and for the continued collaboration with our friends at Turner.”

Sager has worked with Turner Sports for 34 years.  He joined the company in 1982.  This summer he will be honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at The 2016 ESPYS presented by Capital One on ABC.  ESPN’s annual awards broadcast, it is scheduled to air Wednesday, July 13th on ABC.  Sager was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014.

Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals will be available on television on ABC and ESPN Deportes, on radio via ESPN Radio, and online via WatchESPN.  Coverage begins at 8:30pm ET with NBA Countdown on ABC.  More information on this new announcement is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.om

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espnnba

 

 

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John Cena Tapped To Host 2016 ESPY Awards

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Champ. Is. HERE!  Or he will be.

WWE superstar and 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena has been announced as the host of the 2016 ESPY Awards.  The appointment marks the first time that Cena has ever served as emcee for the network’s annual awards program.  Cena was humble in discussing being named as this year’s emcee opting instead to discuss those who the program honors and its philanthropic roots.  “It is truly an honor to be named host of The 2016 ESPYS,” he said.  “Not only will the biggest names in sports and entertainment come together to recognize some of the most spectacular athletic performances of the year, but we’ll also raise funds for The V Foundation to further much-needed cancer research.”  ESPYS Executive Producer Maura Mandt noted Cena’s celebrity and the positive impact that he has in and out of the ring in discussing his appointment.  “John is not only a superstar athlete and entertainer, but also a motivational force who inspires fans across the globe,” she said.  “John approaches all of his endeavors with energy, enthusiasm and passion so we expect him to bring a new level of excitement to the night’s celebration.”

Along with being one of the top names in WWE today, Cena is also host and executive producer of FOX’s new reality competition series American Grit.  That is just one of his credits outside the ring.  He has also made appearances in the hit comedies Trainwreck and Sisters.  Along with all of that, Cena also works extensively with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  He is the foundation’s most requested wish granter and has more than lived up to expectations, having granted some 500 wishes.  He was recently recognized by the USO Metro as the recipient of the organization’s 2016 Legacy of Achievement Award.  As if all of this isn’t enough, Cena is also deeply involved in Susan G. Komen and its efforts to research and fight breast cancer.

The 2016 ESPN ESPY Awards will air live on ABC Wednesday, July 13th at 8pm ET from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.  It raises more than $1 million annual for The V Foundation, which was originally established by ESPN and Jim Valvano in order to promote cancer research.  Tickets for the ESPY Awards can be purchased online at AXS.com.  More information on The ESPY Awards is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/espys

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPYS

 

 

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Curry, Rousey Take Top Honors At ESPN’s 2015 ESPYS

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2015 ESPYS Awards broadcast is officially in the books. For those that missed all of the events from the big night, all the results can be found right here. One of the night’s biggest winners was UFC star Ronda Rousey, who took home two awards—Best Female Athlete and Best Fighter. This year marks the second time that Rousey has received the award for Best Female Athlete. NBA star Stephen Curry also took home two awards—Best Male Athlete and Best NBA Player. Both awards are the first ESPYS that Curry has won. Curry, the 2015 NBA MVP, led the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Championship this year and a league-best 67 – 15 record. The Championship is the team’s first in forty years. On the baseball side, Mike Trout took home the award for Best MLB Player. The award comes fresh off the heels of his second MLB All-Star Game MVP Title earlier this week. Thanks to earning the 509th touchdown of his career this past season, veteran NFL quarterback Peyton Manning took home the trophy for Best Record-Breaking Performance. It is the second consecutive year that Manning has taken home the trophy for Best Record-Breaking Performance.

In one of the night’s more memorable moments, Cincinnati Bengals star Devon Still accepted the Jimmy V Award For Perseverance. The award, named after the late North Carolina State basketball coach, was given to Still and his daughter Leah for their courage and personal strength throughout Leah’s battle with cancer. And in what remains one of the night’s most talked about moments, Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) was presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Jenner was presented with the award for going public with the story about the decision to become a woman, having kept hidden for years the feeling that she had always been a woman trapped in a man’s body. The Pat Tillman Award for Service was given out for just the second time this year. The award, named after NFL standout turned soldier Pat Tillman, was presented to Notre Dame Basketball player Iraq war veteran, and Purple Heart recipient Danielle Green for her service to the nation and commitment to both her service and her education.

Best Moment Award was posthumously presented to the late Mount St. Joseph University basketball player Lauren Hill while New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter took home the Icon Award. The awards noted here are just some of the awards passed out at this year annual ESPYS Award broadcast. The complete list of this year’s winners is noted below.

 

COMPLETE LIST OF THE 2015 ESPYS WINNERS

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Peyton Manning

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Mo’ne Davis

Best Championship Performance: LeBron James

Best Comeback Athlete: Rob Gronkowski

Best Female Athlete: Ronda Rousey

Best Play: Odell Beckham Jr.

Best Male Athlete: Stephen Curry

Best Team: USWNT

Best Game: Super Bowl

Best Upset: Ole Miss over Alabama

Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers

Best NBA Player: Stephen Curry

Best Fighter: Ronda Rousey

Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Kelly Clark

Best Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Krige Schabort

Best MLS Player: Robbie Keane

Best Coach: Steve Kerr

Best International Athlete: Lionel Messi

Best MLB Player: Mike Trout

Best NHL Player: Jonathan Toews

Best WNBA Player: Skylar Diggins

Best Driver: Kevin Harvick

Best Male Golfer: Jordan Spieth

Best Female Golfer: Lydia Ko

Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic

Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams

Best Male College Athlete: Marcus Mariota

Best Female College Athlete: Missy Franklin

Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Ryan Dungey

Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Becca Meyers

Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte

 

SPECIAL AWARDS

Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Devon and Leah Still

Pat Tillman Award for Service: Danielle Green

Best Moment: Lauren Hill

Icon Award: Derek Jeter

Arthur Ashe Award for Courage: Caitlyn Jenner

 

More information on this year’s ESPYS including video clips from last night’s broadcast and much more is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/espys/2015

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialESPYS

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s 2014 Jimmy V Week For Cancer Sets New Fundraising Record

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Jimmy V Week For Cancer set a new record in 2014 for money raised.

Officials with ESPN announced this week that the annual Jimmy V Week For Cancer raised a total of $2,232,000 last year. That tops 2013’s total of $1.8 million and then some. Counting 2014’s newly announced total, the Jimmy V Week For Cancer has now raised $10.5 million for cancer research over the course of eight years. The 2014 Jimmy V Week For Cancer ran from December 3rd – 9th. It featured a simulcast of late NC State coach Jim Valvano’s iconic ESPYS speech across all of ESPN’s domestic networks as well as a number of PSAs and special content encouraging viewers to donate. There was even a sweepstakes benefitting The V Foundation, which included a grand prize trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship and other special ESPN packages.

Along with breaking its own record, 2014 also marked the first year ever that the Jimmy V Week For Cancer welcomed donations ahead of the Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Classics basketball tournaments. Those supporters included: Corona, Universal’s Unbroken vs. Cancer Foundation, The Louisville Friends of the V, and the New York City Marathon Marathon’s “Team V.” The donations from the noted supporters totaled more than $500,000.

V Foundation CEO Susan Braun noted the importance of ESPN’s yearly event, noting the number of donors that helped the cause in 2014 and how much it helps in the V Foundation’s long-term goal of finally beating cancer one day. “We are once again extremely grateful for the outpouring of support during V Week,” she said. “More than 5,900 donors contributed to the effort — a testament to the incredible reach and energy that ESPN brings to the table. With 100 percent of all donations going directly to cancer research, the campaign will help get us that much closer to our ultimate goal stopping cancer.”

More information on The Jimmy V Foundation including how to donate and all of the foundation’s latest news is available online now at:

Website: https://www.jimmyv.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thevfoundation

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheVFoundation

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s Annual “Jimmy V. Week For Cancer Research” Begins Today

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Today, December 3rd, is an important day in the sports world.  The reason for the day’s importance is that it begins the annual “Jimmy V. Week for Cancer Research.”  It all kicks off tonight with a simulcast of beloved former NC State coach Jim Valvano’s  famed 1993 ESPYs speech across the ESPN family of networks.  It will also run on the ABC SuperSign in New York’s Times Square.  Good Morning America host and winner of the 2013 Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Robin Roberts, will introduce the simulcast.

Roberts and a handful of athletes, coaches, celebrities and ESPN faces will share Valvano’s words through public service announcements.  The announcements in question and “Jimmy V Week” content will air on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, NBA on ESPN games, and college football games on ABC.

The week-long memoriam wraps up with the “Jimmy V. Women’s and Men’s Basketball Classics Presented by Corona.”  The games will be broadcast Tuesday, December 17th at 7pm ET on ESPN2.  Number 1 Connecticut will face off against Number 2 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina on the Women’s side.  On the men’s side, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will take to the hard court at 7pm ET.  That game will be followed up by a matchup of Number 16 Florida and Number 11 Memphis at 9:30 ET.  Both games will run on ESPN and ESPN Radio live from Madison Square Garden.

The “Jimmy V. Week for Cancer Research” raised $1.6 million in 2012.  Last year’s success brings the fundraising effort’s six-year total to more than $6.5 million.  More information on this and more from ESPN is available online at http://www.espn.com and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

James, Williams, Heat Lead The Night At Annual ESPYs Awards

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Another year, another big night for the ESPYS.  LeBron James and his team mates with the Miami heat were some of the big winners at ESPN’s annual sports awards show.  Also on the list of the year’s big winners were Serena Williams and Michael Phelps.  James led the pack with three ESPY awards.  And his team mates took home the award in the “Best Team” category for the second consecutive year.  James’ awards were in the categories of: “Best Championship Performance”, “Best NBA Player”, and “Best Male Athlete.”  Just as his team mates won their award for the second consecutive year, so did James take home the same awards personally for the second consecutive year, too.  Last night’s win brings James’ ESPY total to nine awards over the course of his career. 

Serena Williams took home two awards on the night.  She won in the categories of “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Best Female Tennis Player.”

Game Six of the NBA Championship finals won the award in the “Best Game” category.  It was in that game that Ray Allen forced the game into overtime with a game-tying three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the game.  The Heat went on to win the game and the 2013 NBA Championship.

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick might not have won the big game this year.  But he did win at the ESPYs.  He took home the award in the “Best Breakout Athlete.”  Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby won in the category of “Best NHL Player.”  The award comes on the heels of a season that saw Crosby score fifteen goals and forty-one assists over the course of the regular season.  And from the world of Major League Baseball, Detroit Tigers player and triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera brought home the award for “Best MLB Player.”  Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps won the award for “Best Record-Breaking Performance.”  He won the award for his record setting the all-time record for most Olympic Medals at a total of twenty-two medals.  He also won this award in 2009. 

In one of the night’s more emotional moments, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts took home the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.  Roberts, who also played a direct hand in the new ESPN/espnW film series, Nine for IX, was one of ESPN’s first female sports anchors in the 1990s.  Roberts has faced both cancer and MDS yet never wavered in her fight against either life-threatening illness.  The award was presented to Roberts by LeBron James. 

Another of the night’s more emotional moments came in the presentation of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.  The award was given to the father and son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt.  The pair has competed together in over one thousand endurance events including thirty-one Boston Marathons.  The younger of the duo, Rick Hoyt, is 51-years old.  He was born with cerebral palsy.  The condition left him unable to use his hands and legs.  His father, 73-year old Dick Hoyt, pushes his son in a custom-made running chair during races including 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons and triathlons.  The award was given to the duo by actor Ben Affleck. 

Among some of the nights other notable winners were:  Rick Pitino (Best Coach/Manager), Candace Parker (Best WNBA Player), Floyd Mayweather (Best Fighter), Missy Franklin (Best Female Olympian), Usain Bolt (Best International Athlete) and Thierry Henry (Best MLS Player).  A full list of the night’s winners is available below.

SPECIAL AWARDS

 

ARTHUR ASHE COURAGE AWARD: Robin Roberts

JIMMY V AWARD FOR PERSEVERANCE: Dick and Rick Hoyt

 

BEST IN SPORT

 

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: Serena Williams

BEST MALE ATHLETE: LeBron James

BEST FEMALE OLYMPIAN: Missy Franklin

BEST MALE OLYMPIAN: Michael Phelps

BEST MOMENT: Jack Hoffman TD at Nebraska spring game

BEST TEAM: Miami Heat

BEST COMEBACK: Adrian Peterson

BEST COACH/MANAGER: Rick Pitino

BEST GAME: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 6 NBA Finals

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE: LeBron James, NBA Finals

BEST PLAY:

BEST UPSET: 15-Seed Florida Gulf Coast over 2-Seed Georgetown

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE: Colin Kaepernick

BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE: Michael Phelps 22 Olympic medals

BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Johnny Manziel

BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Brittney Griner

BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Jeremy Campbell

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Jessica Long

 

INDIVIDUAL SPORTS

 

BEST MLB PLAYER: Miguel Cabrera

BEST NBA PLAYER: LeBron James

BEST WNBA PLAYER: Candace Parker

BEST NFL PLAYER: Adrian Peterson

BEST NHL PLAYER: Sidney Crosby

BEST MLS PLAYER: Thierry Henry

BEST MALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Nyjah Huston

BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Stephanie Gilmore

BEST BOWLER: Pete Weber

BEST DRIVER: Ryan Hunter-Reay

BEST FIGHTER: Floyd Mayweather

BEST MALE GOLFER: Tiger Woods

BEST FEMALE GOLFER: Stacey Lewis

BEST INTERNATIONAL ATHLETE: Usain Bolt

BEST JOCKEY: Joel Rosario

BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER: Novak Djokovic

BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER: Serena Williams

 

SPONSORED AWARD

 

CAPITAL ONE CUP: North Carolina Women’s Athletics and UCLA Men’s Athletics

 

To find out more about the night’s events, fans can go online to the official ESPN website, http://www.espn.com or its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and “Like” it.

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Nominees For 2013 ESPYS, Voting Open Now

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The nominations are out and the voting has officially begun for this year’s annual ESPY Awards.  In preparation of the annual celebration, Pardon The Interruption hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon will host The ESPY Nomination Special next Monday, July 1st at 8pm EST on ESPN2.  Among this year’s nominees are: Drew Brees, Miguel Cabrera, the Chicago Blackhawks, Olympic medal winner Gabby Douglas, Superbowl champion Joe Flaco of the Baltimore Ravens, and many, many more.

Voting for candidates is open now.  Voting for all categories except “Best Team” will close on the day of the show, Wednesday, July 17th at 9pm.  Fans can cast their vote for categories such as: “Best Male Athlete”, “Best Female Athlete”, “Best Championship Performance”, “Best Breakthrough Athlete” and many others.  Fans can vote online at http://www.ESPN.com/ESPYS up to the start of this year’s awards show.  The “Best Team” category is shifting this year to a Twitter exclusive vote at the beginning of the awards show.  Fans will be able to vote via Twitter throughout the show using hashtag #ESPYSBestTeam and the voter’s favorite team name.  vote from Twitter and ESPYS.com will be gathered at the show’s end to determine the winner of this category.

For more on the ESPYS, fans can go online to http://www.ESPN.com/ESPYS or the official ESPN Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.