Jimmy V Award
|Jimmy V Award|
|Awarded for||"a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination."|
|Location||Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles (2019)|
|Presented by||The V Foundation|
|Currently held by||Chris Nikic|
The Jimmy V Award (sometimes called the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance) is awarded as part of the ESPY Awards to "a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination". The award is named in honor of North Carolina State University men's basketball coach Jim Valvano, who gave an acceptance speech after receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 1993 ESPY Awards ceremony which "brought a howling, teary-eyed Madison Square Garden to its feet". Valvano died from adenocarcinoma two months after receiving the award. The Jimmy V Award trophy, designed by sculptor Lawrence Nowlan, is presented at the annual awards ceremony in Los Angeles by The V Foundation, a charitable organization founded by ESPN and Valvano in 1993, involved in raising money to fund cancer research grants across the United States.
The inaugural winner of the Jimmy V Award in 2007 was basketball coach Kay Yow, who successfully led the North Carolina State University women's team to the ACC Tournament championship game, and the Sweet 16 (regional semi-finals) of the NCAA Division I Tournament after returning from sessions of breast cancer chemotherapy. Although the award has usually been given to coaches or athletes, it has been presented to two reporters: Stuart Scott (2014) and Craig Sager (2016). The award has been shared on two occasions: Team Hoyt (2013), consisting of the father and son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt, and the father and daughter combination of Devon Still and Leah Still (2015). The 2019 recipient of the Jimmy V Award was Rob Mendez, a high school varsity football coach of the Prospect Panthers who was born without arms or legs.
|2007||–||Kay Yow||Returned to successfully coach the North Carolina State University women's team to the ACC Tournament championship game, and the Sweet 16 (regional semi-finals) of the NCAA Division I Tournament after sessions of breast cancer chemotherapy.|||
|2008||Kevin Everett||Former Buffalo Bills tight end who was paralysed from the neck down due to a spinal cord injury he sustained at the start of the 2007 NFL season but began walking again after rehabilitation.|||
|2009||–||Don Meyer||Meyer had his left leg amputated below the knee after a vehicular accident in September 2008. He was later diagnosed with cancer of the liver and intestines but eventually returned as coach of the Northern State Wolves men's basketball team.|||
|2010||George Karl||The Denver Nuggets coach returned to work after being placed on a leave of absence to undergo radiation treatment for neck and throat cancer for six weeks.|||
|2011||–||Anthony Robles||Robles, born without a right leg, beat Matt McDonough in the final of the 2010–2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship 125 lb (57 kg) category to end the season undefeated.|||
|2012||Eric LeGrand||After sustaining a spinal cord injury in a 2010 game against the Army Black Knights. the Rutgers Scarlet Knights American football defensive tackle contradicted medical opinion by standing upright with the aid of a metal frame, and breathing without the assistance of a ventilator.|||
|2013||Team Hoyt||Dick Hoyt pushed his son Rick, born with cerebral palsy, in a custom-built running wheelchair in more than a thousand long-distance running events for almost four decades.|||
|2014||Stuart Scott||The ESPN sports commentator was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer in 2007, and continued to work for the network while undergoing multiple surgeries and chemotherapy.|||
|2015||–||Devon Still and Leah Still||Five year-old Leah Still was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma, and her father, Devon, was added to the practice squad of the Cincinnati Bengals to help him afford his daughter's treatment.|||
|2016||Craig Sager||TNT sports reporter diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2014, who kept working for the network in spite of his cancer no longer going into remission.|||
|2017||–||Jarrius Robertson||15-year-old "super fan" of the New Orleans Saints, born with biliary atresia, affecting his rate of growth, and forcing him to undergo two liver transplants and thirteen surgeries.|||
|2018||Jim Kelly||Former Buffalo Bills quarterback who survived three occurrences of squamous-cell oral cancer within five years.|||
|2019||–||Rob Mendez||Junior varsity high school football coach who was born without arms or legs. Since 2018, he has been the coach of the Prospect Panthers in Saratoga, California.|||
|2020||–||Taquarius Wair||Mesabi Range College football running back who was badly burnt at the age of four.|||
|2021||–||Chris Nikic||The first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman Triathlon.|||
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- "All the 2020 ESPY Winners That Have Been Announced, Including Kevin Love and Boxer Kim Clavel". People.com. June 18, 2020.
- "Chris Nikic, first person with Down syndrome to complete Ironman triathlon, to receive Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at ESPYS". ESPN. June 24, 2021.