The 2017 ESPYS lived up to the hype, recognizing the most successful and impactful athletes and teams of the last year, along with individuals who have shown strong moral character and inspired us all to stick to the fight. Jarrius Robertson, 15-year-old recipient of the Jimmy Valvano Perseverance Award, was introduced by WWE Superstar John Cena before captivating the audience with an energetic and humorous speech thanking everyone who has supported him through his battle with chronic liver disease. He stole the hearts of everyone as he shouted out #WhoDatNation, WWE executive Stephanie McMahon, and his family, among others.

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Host of the evening, retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, poked fun at several different attendees, namely NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant and the New York Knicks. As Peyton acknowledged the talent of our United States gymnastics team, he alluded to Durant’s interest in joining the super team (in reference to him joining the Golden State Warriors this past summer) before saying he likely wouldn’t even be able to start for them.


NBA regular season MVP Russell Westbrook was recognized as the Best Male Athlete for his amazing 2016-2017 season and former First Lady Michelle Obama offered an empowering speech recognizing Special Olympics founder, the late Eunice Kennedy Shriverfor her efforts before showing a video of those whose lives she’s impacted speaking on her behalf. It was a positive and engaging evening overall. You can check out Jarrius Robertson’s acceptance speech above and all of the winners below.

Courage Award: Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte

Best NBA Player: LeBron James

Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams

Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby

Best Female Athlete: Simone Biles

Best Male Athlete: Russell Westbrook

Best Fighter: Demetrious Johnson

Best Major League Baseball Player: Mike Trout

Best Play: Aaron Rodgers

Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers

Best International Athlete: Usain Bolt

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Michael Phelps

Best Female Golfer: Ariya Jutanugarn

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Rayne Dakota Prescott

Best Moment: Chicago Cubs

Best Championship Performance: Kevin Durant

Best Comeback Athlete: Jordy Nelson

Best Jockey: John R. Velazquez

Best MLS Player: David Villa

Best WNBA Player: Candace Parker

Best Male College Athlete: Deshaun Watson

Award for Perseverance: Jarrius Robertson

Best Male Tennis Player: Roger Federer

Best Driver: Lewis Hamilton

Best Coach/Manager: Bob Hurley

Best Female College Athlete: Kelly Barnhill

Best Upset: Mississippi State Bulldogs women’s basketball

Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Mark McMorris

Best Game: Atlanta Falcons

Best Game: New England Patriots

Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Steve Serio

Best Male Golfer: Sergio Garcia

Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Rebecca Meyers

Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Anna Gasser

Icon Award: Vin Scully

Best U.S. Female Olympian: Simone Biles

Pat Tillman Award For Service: Israel Del Toro

Best U.S. Male Olympian: Michael Phelps

Outstanding Team: Golden State Warriors