The W was certainly well-repped at this year’s ESPY awards which emanated from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater this past Wednesday. It was certainly well-attended in terms of presenters as well as representatives from the WNBA and women’s college basketball.
Candace Parker presented the award for best coach and, with it, presented a touching tribute to Pat Summitt, her coach at Tennessee, who passed away last year. The award was presented to Bob Hurley, a high school basketball coach in New Jersey who has won 28 consecutive state championships at St. Anthony High School (Jersey City).
Also on the list of presenters was Nneka Ogwumike, who presented her alma mater, Stanford, with a fourth Capital One Cup for women’s athletics. Along with the award came a $200,000 donation in student-athlete scholarships. Also representing Stanford was Inky Ajanaku, a fifth-year senior on the Cardinal’s volleyball team.
In terms of awards, Parker won the award for Best WNBA Player. Also up for the award were Ogwumike, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, and Elena Delle Donne. Mississippi State’s upset of UConn in the women’s Final Four won Best Upset.
Parker was also a nominee for best female athlete, that honor went to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who also beat out Serena Williams and Katie Ledecky for the honor.
Diana Taurasi becoming the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer was a late nominee for Best Record Breaking Performance, but Michael Phelps extending his record for most career gold medals won that honor over Taurasi as well as Russell Westbrook’s most triple-doubles in a season and Bill Belichick’s most Super Bowl victories by a coach.
Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks were a nominee for Best Team, but that award went to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Among the nominees for Best Female College Athlete was Kelsey Plum, but Florida softball player Kelly Barnhill took home that bit of hardware.