ESPY Awards 2017: Date, Host, TV Schedule, Awards List and More

David McCrackenFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16:  NFL player Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, winner of the Best Record-Breaking Performance award, attends The 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images For ESPYS)
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

It's a tradition unlike any other. No, not The Masters, but the 2017 ESPY Awards.

This year, the ESPYS will recognize some of the world's best female and male athletes for their accomplishments in their respective sports, all while coming together to celebrate the impact and importance sports has on society.

This year be the award show's 25th anniversary, and former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be this year's host. The ESPYS will take place Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. ET at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The show will be broadcast on ABC and live-streamed on Watch ESPN. 

Here's a breakdown of this year's award categories and nominees:

Best Male Athlete

Kris Bryant, MLB
Sidney Crosby, Stanley Cup Finals
Michael Phelps, Swimming
Russell Westbrook, NBA

Best Female Athlete

Simone Biles, Gymnastics
Katie Ledecky, Swimming
Candace Parker, WNBA
Serena Williams, Tennis

Best Championship Performance

Tom Brady, Super Bowl
Kevin Durant, NBA Finals
Shay Knighten, WCWS
Deshaun Watson, CFB National Championship

Best Breakthrough Athlete

Giannis Antetokounmpo, NBA
Laurie Hernandez, Gymnastics
Aaron Judge, MLB
Dak Prescott, NFL
Christian Pulisic, Soccer

Best Record-Breaking Performance

Bill Belichick most Super Bowl wins by a head coach
Michael Phelps extends his own record of most gold medals/most Olympic medals
Diana Taurasi breaks WNBA career scoring record
Russell Westbrook most triple doubles in a season

Best Upset

Clemson defeats Alabama, CFB National Championship
Denis Istomin over Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2nd Round
Mississippi State defeats Connecticut, Women's NCAA Basketball Final Four

Best Game

Cubs vs. Indians, World Series Game 7
Patriots vs. Falcons, Super Bowl
Federer vs. Nadal, Australian Open Final

Best Comeback Athlete

Matt Bush, MLB
Roger Federer, Tennis
Jordy Nelson, NFL
Candace Parker, WNBA

Best Play

Julian Edelman Super Bowl catch vs. 16. Noah Brown TD catch around defender
Morgan Williams buzzer beater vs. UConn vs.15. Larry Nance dunk
Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook vs. 14. Lamar Jackson hurdles defender
Northwestern buzzer beater vs. 13. Edwin Encarnacion walk off HR
Russell Westbrook buzzer beater vs. 12. LeBron James dunk off the backboard
Chris Coghlan leaps over catcher vs. 11. Sidney Crosby one-handed goal
Olivier Giroud scorpion kick goal vs. 10. Warriors jump ball transition dunk
Mario Mandzukic goal in UEFA Final vs. 9. Jarrod Dyson catch

Best Team

Chicago Cubs, MLB
Clemson Tigers, CFB
Golden State Warriors, NBA
Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL
New England Patriots, NFL
South Carolina Gamecocks, Women's NCAA Basketball
US Women's Gymnastics

Best International Athlete

Canelo Alvarez, Boxing
Usain Bolt, Track and Field
Katinka Hosszu, Swimming
Conor McGregor, MMA
Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer

Best NFL Player

Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Best MLB Player

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
Mike Trout, LA Angels

Best NHL Player

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Best Driver

Ron Capps, NHRA
Lewis Hamilton, Formula One
Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
Simon Pagenaud, IndyCar
Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR

Best NBA Player

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
James Harden, Houston Rockets
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Best WNBA Player

Tina Charles, New York Liberty
Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics
Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks
Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

Best Fighter

Terence Crawford, Boxing
Gennady Golovkin, Boxing
Demetrious Johnson, MMA
Conor McGregor, MMA
Andre Ward, Boxing

Best Male Golfer

Brooks Koepka
Sergio Garcia
Dustin Johnson
Rory McIlroy
Henrik Stenson

Best Female Golfer

In Gee Chun
Ariya Jutanugarn
Lydia Ko
So Yeon Ryu
Lexi Thompson

Best Male Tennis Player

Roger Federer
Andy Murray
Rafael Nadal
Stan Wawrinka

Best Female Tennis Player

Angelique Kerber
Jelena Ostapenko
Monica Puig
Serena Williams

Best Male College Athlete

Ian Harkes, Wake Forest soccer
Frank Mason, Kansas basketball
Matt Rambo, Maryland lacrosse
Zain Retherford, Penn State wrestling
DeShaun Watson, Clemson football

Best Female College Athlete

Inky Ajanaku, Stanford volleyball
Kelly Barnhill, Florida softball
Kadeisha Buchanan, West Virginia soccer
Kelsey Plum, Washington basketball
Zoe Stukenberg, Maryland lacrosse

Best Male Action Sports Athlete

Oystein Braaten (NOR), Ski
John John Florence, Surf
Nyjah Huston, Skateboard
Mark McMorris, Snowboard

Best Female Action Sports Athlete

Lacey Baker, Skateboard
Anna Gasser, Snowboard
Kelly Sildaru, Ski
Tyler Wright, Surf

Best Jockey

Javier Castellano
Mike E. Smith
John Velasquez

Best Male Athlete With a Disability

Will Groulx, Cycling
Mike Minor, Snowboarding
Steve Serio, Wheelchair Basketball
Brad Snyder, Swimming
Roderick Townsend, Track and Field

Best Female Athlete With a Disability

Oksana Masters, Nordic Skiing
Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field
Becca Meyers, Swimming
Shawn Morelli, Cycling
Grace Norman, Triathlon

Best Bowler

Jason Belmonte
Francois Lavoie
EJ Tackett

Best MLS Player

Andre Blake, Philadelphia Union
Stefan Frei, Seattle Sounders FC
Matt Hedges, FC Dallas
David Villa, New York City FC
Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

Best Male US Olympic Athlete

Ashton Eaton, Decathlon
Ryan Murphy, Swimming
Michael Phelps, Swimming
Kyle Snyder, Wrestling

Best Female US Olympic Athlete

Simone Biles, Gymnastics
Allyson Felix, Track & Field
Katie Ledecky, Swimming
Simone Manuel, Swimming

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13:  Craig Sager, winner of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award  (R) and Vice President of the United States Joe Biden onstage during the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winte
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Aside from honoring the outstanding performances of today's athletes, the ESPYS also recognizes courageousness, grit and perseverance through the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. 

If you don't know what the Jimmy V award is, here's a brief explanation, courtesy of ESPN

"The Jimmy V Perseverance Award is given to someone in sports who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. It is named for Valvano, the NCAA-winning coach who gave an emotional acceptance speech at the 1993 ESPYS that included his famous words "Don't give up. ... Don't ever give up!" He died of cancer later that year."

You can take a look at Valvano's 1993 speech here. 

After honoring the late great TNT NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager in 2016, the ESPYS will honor New Orleans Saints superfan Jarrius Robertson, a 15-year-old diehard Saints fan who has undergone two liver transplants and 13 surgeries due to biliary atresia—a chronic liver disease that has affected his growth.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 17: New Orleans Saints Super Fan Jarrius 'Little JJ' Robertson celebreates after scoring during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 17, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User ex
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

He received his second liver transplant this past April and received support from players and coaches from the Saints.

Despite his health issues, he remains a prominent figure on Sundays for the Saints. In a statement, Robertson showed his deep appreciation for the honor, per ESPN.

"When I first heard the news I thought I was dreaming!" Robertson said. "The ESPYS? For real? The past two years have been a blessing in so many ways for me and my family. I have been able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. But to be included with Craig Sager, Stuart Scott, Leah and Devon Still, Eric LeGrand and the man himself, Jimmy V, is truly amazing and I am really grateful and humbled."

If you're not a Saints fan, you may remember Robertson from the 2017 NBA All-Star weekend, where he essentially stole the show, as documented here 

His speech will be a memorable one, so you don't want to miss it.