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2009 ESPYs Nominees (includes Supercross Champion James Stewart, and Ashley Fiolek)

Published June 27th, 2009

2009 AMA Supercross Series Champion James Stewart is up for Best Male Action Sport Athlete, and Women’s National Motocross Champion Ashley Fiolek is up for Best Female Action Sport Athlete.



And you can vote! Vote here! www.espys.tv






The ESPYs gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2009 ESPYs will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” and best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. The ESPYs honor ESPN’s commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYs in 1993.






BEST MALE ATHLETE




Kobe Bryant, NBA




* Led Los Angeles Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference (65-17) and their first NBA Title since 2002.


* Averaged 33.4 PPG, 7.4 APG, 5.6 RPG as NBA Finals MVP.


* Finished third in NBA in scoring (26.8 PPG).


* Helped lead the USA to a gold medal in the Olympics.






LeBron James, NBA




* Named NBA MVP and led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a single-season record for wins (66).


* Finished second in the NBA in scoring (28.4 PPG).


* Became the first MVP in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals in the same season.


* Helped lead the USA to a gold medal in the Olympics.






Jimmie Johnson, Auto Racing




* Joined Cale Yarborough as the second driver in the history of the sport to win three consecutive series titles.


* Finished with a series-high six pole positions during 2008 season.


* Won the title by 69 points over Carl Edwards.






Michael Phelps, Swimming




* Became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympics.


* Set seven world records on his way to winning eight gold medals.


* Swam in 17 races over the course of nine days at the 2008 Olympics (including preliminaries).






BEST FEMALE ATHLETE




Natalie Coughlin, Swimming




* Became the first woman to win six medals at a single Olympics.


* Became the first woman to defend her title in the 100-meter backstroke by winning gold.






Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics




* Joined Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004) as the third American woman to win the individual all-around championship.


* Edged US teammate Shawn Johnson by six-tenths of a point to win the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.


* Won three silver medals and one bronze medal in addition to her gold at the 2008 Olympics.






Maya Moore, NCAA Basketball




* Averaged 19.3 PPG and 8.9 RPG while shooting 52.1 percent from the field.


* Set the Connecticut single-season scoring mark as the AP Player of the Year.


* Led the Huskies to a 39-0 record and an NCAA championship.






Candace Parker, WNBA




* Named WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year for 2008 season.


* Led WNBA in rebounding (9.5 RPG) and finished fifth in scoring (18.5 PPG).






Serena Williams, Tennis




* Won her 10th career Grand Slam at the 2009 Australian Open.


* Failed to drop a set on her way to her to the 2008 US Open singles title.






BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE




Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers




* Earned NBA Finals MVP.


* Averaged 33.4 PPG, 7.4 APG, 5.6 RPG in the NBA Finals.


* Led Lakers to franchise’s 15th NBA championship.






Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies




* Became first player to win LCS and World Series MVP in the same season since 1997.


* Had a 4-0 record in the 2008 MLB Postseason.


* Had a 1.80 ERA with 30 strikeouts and nine walks during 2008 postseason.






Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimming




* Became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympics.


* Set seven world records on his way to winning eight gold medals.


* Swam in 17 races over the course of nine days at the 2008 Olympics (including preliminaries).






Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Olympic Beach Volleyball




* Went undefeated without losing a set in winning the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.


* Won their 108th consecutive match with their gold medal victory.






BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE




Shawn Johnson, Olympic Gymnastics




* Won one gold and three silver medals at the 2008 Olympics.


* Joined Shannon Miller (1996) as the second U.S. gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal on balance beam.


* Won the Sullivan Award as top amateur athlete.






Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays




* Became the first player in Rays’ history to win the AL Rookie of the Year.


* Led all major league rookies in HR (27) in 2008.


* Was second among major league rookies in RBI (85).






Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls




* NBA Rookie of the Year.


* Averaged 16.8 PPG and 6.3 APG.


* Joined Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Penny Hardaway as one of four rookies in NBA history to average at least 16 PPG and 6 APG while shooting at least 45% from the field.






Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons




* Completed over 61 percent of his passes for 3,440 yards and 16 touchdowns.


* Led Falcons to an 11-5 regular-season record, an improvement of seven games.






BEST RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCE




Usain Bolt, Olympic Sprinter




* Set a world record time of 9.69 in the 100-meters.


* Set the first world record at the 100-meters at the Olympics since 1996.


* Won and set the world record in the 200-meters which was previously held by US Sprinter, Michael Johnson.


* His performances led to three world records at the 2008 Olympics (two individual, one relay).






Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals




* Broke the NFL postseason record for receptions (30) and receiving yards (546), previously held by Jerry Rice.


* Had four catches of 40+ yards during the playoffs.


 




Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers




* Won his 10th NBA title as a head coach, surpassing Red Auerbach for the most all-time.


* Became the first head coach to win 10 championships in one of the four major American pro sports leagues.






Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimmer




* Became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympics.


* Set seven world records on his way to winning eight gold medals.


* Swam in 17 races over the course of nine days at the 2008 Olympics (including preliminaries).






BEST UPSET




Mine That Bird wins the Kentucky Derby




* The 50-1 long shot won the Kentucky Derby.


* Scored a 6¾-length victory at Churchill Downs, the second-biggest stunner in Derby history.


* The margin was the largest since Assault won by eight lengths in 1946.






Oregon State stuns then #1 USC




* Mike Riley’s team won 27-21 in Corvallis, Oregon.


* The Beavers raced out to a 21-0 halftime lead to shock the Trojans.


* Oregon State freshman Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the upset.






Tampa Bay Rays win the American League Championship Series




* Tampa Bay did not have a winning season prior to 2008.


* Beat out the Red Sox and Yankees en route to winning the AL East Division.


* Beat the Boston Red Sox in Game Seven of the ALCS.






US Soccer shocks Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinals




* Lost the first two games of the 2009 Confederations Cup to Brazil and Italy by a combined margin of 6-1.


* Beat Egypt and went through as the runner-up of Group B on a tie-breaker to face Group A winner, Spain who was undefeated in the tournament leading up to the match.


* Defeated Spain, the top ranked team in the world, by a score of 2-0 to advance to the Final.






BEST GAME




Federer vs. Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon Final




* #2 Rafael Nadal defeated #1 Roger Federer (6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7) in the five-set thriller.


* The match featured two tie-breaks, two rain delays and lasted four hours and 48 minutes.


* Roger Federer’s streak of five straight Wimbledon wins was halted by Rafael Nadal in the longest Wimbeldon final in history. 


* Became the third player in the Open era to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.






Steelers vs. Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII




* Santonio Holmes’ catch with 35 seconds left gave the Steelers their record sixth Super Bowl title.


* The Steelers’ last minute drive clinched the 27-23 victory over the Cardinals.


* Arizona scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter before the Steelers’ final drive clinched the Lombardi Trophy.






Syracuse vs. Connecticut in the Big East Tournament Quarterfinals




* After six overtimes, Syracuse defeated UCONN 127-117.


* The game lasted almost 3 1/2 hours in real time and the teams combined for 209 shots from the floor.


* It was the longest game ever played in Big East Tournament history and the 2nd longest game in Division I history.


* Prior to the 6th OT, Syracuse never led in overtime.






BEST MOMENT




Florida’s Tim Tebow’s speech




* Tebow took responsibility and ownership of his team during a press conference after Florida’s loss to Mississippi.


* The Florida Gators went on to win the BCS National Championship with a margin of victory of 33.8 PPG over their final 10 games.






Helio Castroneves wins the Indy 500




* Won the 93rd Indianapolis 500 after being found innocent on tax-evasion charges.


* Became just the ninth driver to win at least three Indianapolis 500′s and the first since 1988.


* Led the final 59 laps of the race.






US swim team wins thrilling finish in Olympic relay




* Michael Phelps’ quest for eight gold medals was in danger of disappearing in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.


* Veteran Jason Lezak hit the water a half-second after Alain Bernard of France, the world-record holder in the 100-meter freestyle at the time.


* Lezak edged Bernard at the finish to give the Americans the gold.






BEST PLAY




Ovechkin vs. Rangers




* Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin scored a spectacular goal vs. Rangers in game five of Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.






Pacquiao KO’s Hatton




* Manny Pacquiao cemented his claim as the best pound-for-pound boxer.


* Pacquaio knocked Hatton down two times in the first round before knocking him out with a vicious left hand late in the second round.






Roethlisberger to Holmes Super Bowl Winning TD




* Holmes’ brilliant catch in the corner of the end zone with 35 seconds gave the Steelers a 27-23 victory and a record, sixth Super Bowl title.






Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree makes game-winning catch vs. Texas




* The 28-yard touchdown pass with :01 remaining sealed the upset victory for Texas Tech as they rallied late to beat Texas, 39-33.






BEST TEAM




Connecticut Women’s Basketball




* Had a 39-0 record on their way to a National championship.


* Became the first team in men’s or women’s Division I to win every game by double digits.


* Became the fifth team in NCAA women’s basketball history to finish the season undefeated.






Los Angeles Lakers




* Won 15th NBA championship by beating Orlando Magic, 4-1 in NBA Finals.


* Posted the best record in the Western Conference (65-17) during the regular season.


* Won the NBA title for the first time since 2002.






North Carolina Men’s Basketball




* Became the fifth team in NCAA history to win all their tournament games by double digits en route to a national title.


* Led the nation in scoring margin (+17.8 PPG) on their way to a 34-4 record.






Philadelphia Phillies




* Earned their first World Series title since 1980 and second in team history.


* Their 28-year span between World Series titles is tied for the fourth-longest in MLB history.


* Finished the postseason with a 7-0 record at home.


* Won the NL with a record of 92-70.






Pittsburgh Penguins




* After starting the season 27-25-5, the team changed coached, turned things around and made the playoffs.


* Won their first Stanley Cup since 1992 by defeating the Detroit Red Wings in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena.






Pittsburgh Steelers




* Won their record-breaking sixth Super Bowl.


* Went 12-4 during regular season despite playing the toughest schedule in the NFL.






BEST INTERNATIONAL MALE ATHLETE




Usain Bolt (Jamaica, Sprinter)




* Set an Olympic and world record time of 9.69 in the 100-meters.


* Won and set the world record in the 200-meters with a time of 19.30 at the 2008 Olympics.


* Won gold and set a world record along with his teammates in the 4×100 relay with a time of 37.10 seconds.


* Became the first man to win all three events at a single Olympics since Carl Lewis in 1984.


* Became the first man in history to set world records in all three events at a single Olympics.






Pau Gasol (Spain, Basketball)




* Helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA championship.


* Averaged 18.3 PPG and 10.8 RPG in 2009 NBA Playoffs.


* Was a member of Spain’s silver medal-winning basketball team at 2008 Olympics.






Lionel Messi (Argentina, Soccer)




* Led Barcelona to obtain the Champions League 2009, the Copa del Rey and the La Liga title.


* Won the Gold Medal with Argentina national team at the 2008 Olympics.


* Finished as the runner-up to Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year.






Rafael Nadal (Spain, Tennis)




* Became the #1 ranked tennis player in 2008 and won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.


* Became first player since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win the French Open and Wimbledon titles in same year.


* Led ATP circuit with eight titles in ten finals, 82 match wins, most matches played (93) and a 17-6 mark against Top 10 opponents.


* Helped Spain to Davis Cup title (vs. Argentina) by winning all three of his matches.






Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Soccer)




* 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year.


* Led Manchester United to a Premier League championship.


* Led Manchester United to their second consecutive UCL Final appearance.






BEST INTERNATIONAL FEMALE ATHLETE




Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia, Pole Vault)




* Most dominant female pole vaulter in history.


* Set an amazing 26 indoor and outdoor world records.


* Currently holds the title of Olympic and World Champion.






Marta (Brazil, Soccer)




* Led Brazil to a Silver medal at the 2008 Olympics.


* Helped the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPS) to a strong start as a member of the Los Angeles Sol.






Lorena Ochoa (México, Golf)




* Remained the #1 ranked golfer in the world.


* Added two more majors to her already storied career.


* Won seven tournaments during the 2008 LPGA season.






Stephanie Rice (Australia, swimming)




* Won three gold medals at 2008 Olympics.


* Won in the gold in the 200 meter individual medley, the 400 meter individual medley and 4×200 meter free relay.






Dinara Safina (Russia, Tennis)




* Was ranked World #1 by the Women’s Tennis Association.


* Won the silver medal in women’s singles at the 2008 Olympics.


* Runner-up in the 2009 French Open.


* Won four tournaments in 2008.






UNDER ARMOUR ALL-AMERICA MOMENT




Jake Bernhardt, Lacrosse




* Bernhardt was hit by an opposing player, but still had the strength to score.


* Scored two goals in the game.


* Was named the 2008 Central Florida Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel.






Tara Glover, Softball




* Glover made a great stab on a hard hit line drive.


* Was recently profiled on the cover of ESPN Rise.






David Renfroe, Baseball




* Renfroe hit the lone homerun of the game to left field.


* He struck out five batters in two innings and was named MVP for Team One.






Hannah Werth, Volleyball




* Werth pounded the ball into the ground for her third straight kill in the match.


* Was named MVP of the match with five kills and eight digs.






Andre Debose and Russell Shepard, Football




* Shepard threw a deep pass to Debose who split the defenders for a 92 yard TD.


* Debose announced he would attend Florida following the game.


* Shepard announced previously that he would be attending LSU.






BEST SPORTS MOVIE




The Express: The Ernie Davis Story




* Based on the life of Syracuse star running back Ernie Davis, who became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.


* Stars Dennis Quaid and Rob Brown.






Sugar




* The story of a Dominican pitcher who struggles to make it to the big leagues and pulls himself and his family out of poverty.


* Stars Algenis Perez Soto and Rayniel Rufino.






The Wrestler




* A drama centered on a fictional character, retired professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson.


* Stars Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei.






BEST COACH/MANAGER




Geno Auriemma, Connecticut Women’s Basketball




* Earned his sixth national championship and led Connecticut to a perfect 39-0 record.


* His team won every game by double figures.






Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins




* Led the Penguins to first Stanley Cup since 1992.


* Replaced Michel Therrien as coach when Pittsburgh started with a 27-25-5 record, off the playoff pace.


* Led team to 18-3-4 mark to end regular season and then through the playoffs to win the Stanley Cup.






Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers




* Won his 10th NBA title as a head coach, surpassing Red Auerbach for the most all-time.


* Became the first head coach to win 10 championships in one of the four major American pro sports leagues.






Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays




* Led Tampa Bay to its first winning season in franchise history.


* Tampa Bay became the second franchise in major league history to finish first immediately following a streak of 10 or more consecutive losing seasons.






Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers




* Led Steelers to Super Bowl championship.


* His Steelers finished the 2008 regular season with a 12-4 record.


* Became the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl.






BEST NFL PLAYER




Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals




* Had a total of 96 receptions, 1,431 yards and 12 touchdowns during 2008 regular season.


* Broke postseason record for receptions (30) and receiving yards (546), previously held by Jerry Rice.


* Had four catches of 40+ yards during the playoffs.






James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers




* Was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.


* Recorded 16 sacks during the regular season.


* Returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown in the Super Bowl.






Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts




* Earned MVP award for the third time, tying Brett Favre for the most.


* Posted his NFL-record ninth straight season of 4,000+ passing yards.


* Became the first player with 11 straight seasons of 25+ touchdown passes.






Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings




* Led NFL in rushing yards with 1,760.


* Averaged 4.8 yards-per-carry.


* Became the fifth player in NFL history to total over 3,000 rushing yards over his first two seasons.






Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals




* Led Cardinals to the NFC championship.


* Threw for 4,583 yards during the regular season, which was second in the NFL.


* Had the most postseason passing yards (1,147).






BEST BASEBALL PLAYER




Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays




* Became the first pitcher to reach 10 wins during the 2009 season.


* Posted a 20-11 record with a 2.78 ERA during the 2008 season.






Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies




* Became the second player in the last 47 years to lead the majors in home runs and RBI and play for a World Series champion in the same year (Roger Maris is the other).


* Led the league with 48 home runs and 146 RBI during the 2008 season.






Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox




* Earned the AL MVP Award.


* Became the first AL 2nd baseman to win the award since Nellie Fox in 1959.


* Became only the sixth player to win the MVP Award in his second season.






Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals




* Was second in NL in batting (.357) and tied for fourth in NL in home runs (37).


* Led the MLB in slugging pct. (.653) and total bases (342).


* Named NL MVP.






Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels/New York Mets




* Had a total of 62 saves during the 2008 season.


* Broke Bobby Thigpen’s single-season record for saves (57) which was set in 1990.






BEST NHL PLAYER




Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins




* Finished second in regular season assists (70).


* Finished third in scoring (103 points).


* Helped lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup.






Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings




* Finished the season with the third best plus/minus in the NHL (+34).


* Finished fourth in regular-season in points (97).


* Won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward.


* Won the Lady Byng as the most sportsmanlike player.






Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins




* Led the NHL in scoring (113 points) and assists (78) and posted a +17 plus/minus.


* Was named the Conn Smythe trophy winner as the Stanley Cup playoffs MVP.






Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals




* Led NHL in goals during regular season (56) and was the only player during 2008-09 season to score 50 goals.


* Finished second in scoring (110 points) and scored 10 game-winning goals during the regular season.


* Won the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP.






BEST DRIVER




Helio Castroneves




* Won the 93rd Indianapolis 500 after being found innocent on tax-evasion charges.


* Won the third Indy 500 of his career.






Scott Dixon




* Won 2008 IRL championship, his second title.


*  Equaled the single-season mark for IRL wins in 2008 with six.






Lewis Hamilton




* Became Formula One’s youngest champion.


* Clinched the Formula One Championship after a dramatic finish in the final event of the season (Brazil Grand Prix).






Jimmie Johnson




* Joined Cale Yarborough as the second driver in the history of the sport to win three consecutive series titles.


* Finished with a series-high six pole positions during 2008 season.


* Won the title by 69 points over Carl Edwards.






Tony Schumacher




* Won his fifth consecutive NHRA crown.


* Set a Top Fuel record of 15 victories in one season.






BEST NBA PLAYER




Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers




* Led Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference (65-17) and their first NBA Title since 2002.


* Averaged 33.4 PPG, 7.4 APG, 5.6 RPG as NBA Finals MVP.


* Finished third in NBA in scoring (26.8 PPG).






Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic




* Was one of two NBA players to average at least 20 PPG and 10 RPG (Toronto’s Chris Bosh was the other).


* Led NBA in rebounding (13.8 RPG) and blocks (2.9 BPG).


* Helped Magic reach the NBA finals.






LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers




* Led Cavaliers to NBA-best 66-16 record, including 39-2 at home.


* Finished second in the NBA in scoring (28.4 PPG).


* Became the only player in NBA history to average 38+ PTS, 8+ RPG and 8+ APG in a playoff series.






Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat




* Led the NBA in scoring (30.2 PPG).


* Averaged 7.5 APG.


* Finished second in steals and sixth in minutes played.






BEST WNBA PLAYER




Deanna Nolan, Detroit Shock




* Averaged 15.8 PPG.


* Helped the Shock win the WNBA championship.






Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks




* Named WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year.


* Led WNBA in rebounding (9.5 RPG) and finished fifth in scoring (18.5 PPG).


* Was the only WNBA player to average more than nine rebounds per game.






Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury




* Led WNBA in scoring (24.1 PPG).


* Posted second-best performance in WNBA history for both single-season scoring average and total points.


* Scored 30 or more points 10 times, including a season-high 37 at Seattle.






Lindsay Whalen, Connecticut Sun




* Finished second in WNBA MVP voting.


* Led the WNBA in assists (5.4 APG).


* Became just the second player in league history to average 10+ PPG, 5+ RPG and 5+ APG for an entire season.






BEST FIGHTER




Lyoto Machida, MMA




* Knocked out Rashad Evans to capture light-heavyweight championship at UFC 98.


* The match-up of Machida and Evans was a battle of unbeatens.






Shane Mosley, Boxing




* Won WBA welterweight title by beating Antonio Margarito.


* Scored a ninth-round TKO to earn another championship (he has won in three separate weight classes).






Manny Pacquiao, Boxing




* Dominated over eight rounds against Oscar De La Hoya before the fight was stopped in a welterweight bout.


* Followed the De La Hoya fight with two-round demolition of Ricky Hatton.


* Joined Oscar De La Hoya as the second boxer all-time to win titles in six different weight divisions.






Anderson Silva, MMA




* Defeated Patrick Cote and Thales Leites in middleweight title defenses.


* Also defeated James Irwin.






BEST US MALE OLYMPIAN




Bryan Clay, Track and Field




* Won the Decathlon at the 2008 Olympics.


* Led from the start (when he had the best time in the 100m) to the finish.






LaShawn Merritt, Track and Field




* Won the gold medal in 400 meters at the 2008 Olympics.


* Won the gold medal as a part of the 4 X 400-meter relay at the 2008 Olympics.






Michael Phelps, Swimming




* Became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympics.


* Set seven world records on his way to winning eight gold medals.


* Swam in 17 races over the course of nine days at the 2008 Olympics (including preliminaries).






Angelo Taylor, Track and Field




* Won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympics.


* Won gold in the 400-meter hurdles and the 4 X 400-meter relay.


* Was part of the first US sweep (gold, silver, bronze) in 400-meter hurdles since 1960.






BEST US FEMALE OLYMPIAN




Natalie Coughlin, Swimming




* Became the first woman to win six medals at a single Olympics.


* Became the first woman to defend her title in the 100-meter backstroke by winning gold.






Dawn Harper, Track and Field




* Won gold medal in 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 Olympics.






Shawn Johnson, Gymnastics




* Won one gold and three silver medals at the 2008 Olympics.


* Joined Shannon Miller (1996) as the second U.S. gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal on balance beam.


* Won the Sullivan Award as top amateur athlete.






Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics




* Joined Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004) as the third American woman to win the individual all-around championship.


* Edged US teammate Shawn Johnson by six-tenths of a point to win the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.


* Won three silver medals and one bronze medal in addition to her gold at the 2008 Olympics.






BEST MALE GOLFER




Padraig Harrington




* Became only the fourth player to win the British Open and PGA in the same year (2008).


* Made three clutch putts in the final three holes to win the PGA Championship.


* Became the first European to win the PGA Championship since Tommy Armour in 1930.


* Became the fifth golfer in the last 50 years to win back-to-back British Open championships.






Phil Mickelson




* Earned over $5 million on PGA Tour in 2008.


* Won two tournaments during 2008 PGA season.






Tiger Woods




* Came back from major knee surgery to win Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament in 2009.






BEST FEMALE GOLFER




Paula Creamer




* Won four LPGA tournaments during the 2008 season.


* Finished in the top 10 in 15 of her 26 LPGA appearances.






Lorena Ochoa




* Won seven tournaments during the 2008 LPGA season.


* Finished in the top ten in 17 of 22 events she played in.


* Made over $2.7 million in prize earnings.


* Won Rolex Player of the Year for third straight time.






Suzann Pettersen




* Finished second on the LPGA money-winning list in 2008.


* Recorded 10 top ten finishes.


* Made the cut in all 24 LPGA events she participated in.






BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER




Roger Federer




* Became the sixth male player to complete career Grand Slam.


* Tied Pete Sampras’ record for Grand Slam singles titles with his 14th when he won the 2009 French Open.


* Won his fifth straight US Open title, the longest streak since Bill Tilden won six in a row from 1920-25.






Rafael Nadal




* Won 2008 Olympic gold medal.


* Finished the 2008 season as the #1 ranked player in the world.


* Posted an 82-11 record in 2008 and won eight ATP tour titles.


* Won Wimbledon and the Australian Open.






BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER




Svetlana Kuznetsova




* Won the 2009 French Open singles championship.


* Beat the top two seeds (Dinara Safina and Serena Williams) en route to winning that title.






Dinara Safina




* Climbed to the #1 world ranking in early 2009.


* Reached finals of the 2009 French Open.


* Won four tournaments in 2008.






Serena Williams




* Won her third US Open championship (2008) without losing a set in her seven match wins.


* Defeated three of the top seven seeds at the US Open (Venus Williams, Dinara Safina, Jelena Jankovic).


* Won the 2009 Australian Open women’s singles and doubles championships.






BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE




Sam Bradford, Oklahoma Football




* Became the second sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy.


* Completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns.






Matt Gilroy, Boston University Hockey




* Won the Hobey Baker Award as top college hockey player.


* Helped lead the Terriers to a national championship.






Blake Griffin, Oklahoma Basketball




* Averaged 22.7 PPG and led the nation with 14.4 RPG.


* Had 30 double-doubles during 2008-09 season.






Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State Baseball




* Led Division I in strikeouts (180), ERA (1.24) and strikeouts per nine innings (15.88) during the 2009 regular season.


* Had a perfect 13-0 record during the regular season.


* Was th #1 overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft.






Tim Tebow, Florida Football




* Led the Gators to national championship.


* Set a school-record for 230 passing attempts without an interception.


* Was 18-of-30 for 231 yards and two touchdowns in the Gators’ 24-14 win over top-ranked Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game.






BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE




Kerri Hanks, Notre Dame Women’s Soccer




* Joined Mia Hamm, Cindy Parlow and Christine Sinclair as the fourth two-time Hermann Award winner.


* Finished the 2008 season ranked fifth in the nation in goals (20), tied for third in assists (15) and tied for second in points (55).


* Became the only Division I player to rank in the top five nationally in goals and assists.






Courtney Kupets, Georgia Gymnastics




* Helped Georgia earn its fifth consecutive national title.


* Won on the uneven bars and the balance beam while tying for first in floor exercise during NCAA team championships.


* Became the all-time NCAA leader with nine individual championships.






Danielle Lawrie, Washington Softball




* Led Washington to its first national softball championship title.


* Led the nation in strikeouts (521) and wins (42).


* Finished third in shutouts (21) and sixth in ERA (0.97).


* Was named 2009 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year.






Maya Moore, Connecticut Women’s Basketball




* Averaged 19.3 PPG and 8.9 RPG while shooting 52.1 percent from the field.


* Set the Connecticut single-season scoring mark.


* Led the Huskies to a 39-0 record and an NCAA championship.






Dana Vollmer, California Swimming




* Won the 100 and 200 freestyle titles at NCAA swimming championships.


* Was part of two winning relays that helped California win its first NCAA Division I swimming championship.





BEST MALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE




Ryan Sheckler, Skateboarding




* Won 2008 X Games Skateboard Street gold.


* Starred in his own MTV show and still just 19 years old.






Kelly Slater  




* Won his ninth ASP Championship in 2008.


* Placed in seven events on his way to the Championship.





James Stewart, Motocross




* Captured the 2008 AMA Motocross points title by compiling just the third perfect season in AMA Motocross history.


* Became the 2009 AMA Supercross Series Champion in May.







Shaun White, Snowboarding/Skateboarding




* Won gold medals in the SuperPipe and Slopestyle at the 2009 Winter X Games.


* Won the bronze medal in Skateboard Vert at the 2008 X Games.


* Became the overall 2009 Dew Tour champ in both Superpipe and Slopestyle.





BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE




Torah Bright




* Won Winter X Snowboarding Superpipe gold.


* Became the Burton Global Open Champion in 2008.






Sarah Burke




* Earned her third straight Winter X Skiing SuperPipe gold in 2009.


 



Ashley Fiolek




* Became the 2008 AMA Women’s Motocross champ as a 17-year-old in her first full season on the series.







Maya Gabeira




* Won the 2009 Billabong XXL Women’s Overall Performance Award for the third straight year.






BEST JOCKEY




Calvin Borel




* Rode 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird to victory at the Kentucky Derby.


* Rode Rachel Alexandra to a win at The Preakness.






Garrett Gomez




* Rode winners in the Filly and Mare Sprint and the BC Sprint at the 2008 Breeders’ Cup.


* Rode 214 winners and topped $23 million in earnings.






Mike Smith




* Rode Zenyatta, the winner of Ladies’ Classic in Breeders’ Cup.


* Rode Mine That Bird to second place finish at The Preakness.






BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY




Jessica Long, Swimming




* Won gold in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 400 freestyle at the 2008 Paralympics.






Asya Miller, Goalball




* Had a standout performance as a goalball star on gold medal-winning team at the 2008 Paralympics.






Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, Sailing




* Was Nick Scandone’s sailing partner and became the first female to win a Paralympic gold in sailing. 






Erin Popovich, Swimming




* Won four gold medals and two silver medals at the 2008 Paralympics.


* Won gold in 400 freestyle, the 100 backstroke, 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle.






BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY




Jeremy Campbell, Track and Field




* Won the gold medal and set the world record in the pentathlon at the 2008 Paralympics.






Will Groulx, Wheelchair Rugby




* Led the team in scoring as they went undefeated in the 2008 Paralympics to win the gold medal.






Jason Lester, Ironman




* Became the first physically-challenged Ironman athlete to finish the Ultraman Hawaii World Championship with a partially paralyzed right arm.


* The event included a 6.2 mile swim and 90-mile ride on day one, a 171-mile ride on day two and a double marathon on day three.


* Finished in 24th place overall.






Oscar Pistorius, Track and Field




* Won three gold medals at the 2008 Paralympics (100, 200 and 400 meter races).






BEST BOWLER




Chris Barnes




* Led PBA Tour in points.


* Advanced to match play in 18 of the 21 tournaments he competed in.






Norm Duke




* Led PBA Tour in earnings ($199,130).


* Ranked fourth in the PBA Tour points race.






Wes Malott




* Led PBA Tour in scoring average (222.98) and finished fifth in earnings ($174,680).


* Led the PBA in championship round appearances (9).






BEST MLS PLAYER




Juan Pablo Angel, New York Red Bulls




* Scored 14 goals during the regular season.


* Led the New York Red Bulls to their first MLS Cup appearance.






Jon Busch, Chicago Fire




* Posted a 1.10 goals-against average and a league-high 10 shutouts.


* Led the Chicago Fire to the playoffs in his first full season as a starter.


* Played every minute of all 30 regular-season games.






Kenny Cooper, FC Dallas




* Scored 18 goals in 30 games during the 2008 regular season






Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy




* Scored 20 goals and added nine assists in 25 games during the 2008 regular season.






Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus Crew




* Was named MLS regular-season MVP and playoff MVP.


* Had seven goals and 19 assists during regular season.


* Led Columbus to best regular-season record (17-7-6).





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2009 ESPYs Nominees (includes Supercross Champion James Stewart, and Ashley Fiolek) - Photo 1 of 1




James Stewart – 2009 AMA/FIM Supercross Series Champion



To see the results and more of the entire 2009 AMA / FIM Supercross Series, you can visit this link




 


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2009 ESPYs Nominees (includes Supercross Champion James Stewart, and Ashley Fiolek)

Published June 27th, 2009

2009 AMA Supercross Series Champion James Stewart is up for Best Male Action Sport Athlete, and Women’s National Motocross Champion Ashley Fiolek is up for Best Female Action Sport Athlete.

And you can vote! Vote here! www.espys.tv

The ESPYs gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2009 ESPYs will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” and best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. The ESPYs honor ESPN’s commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYs in 1993.

BEST MALE ATHLETE

Kobe Bryant, NBA

* Led Los Angeles Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference (65-17) and their first NBA Title since 2002.

* Averaged 33.4 PPG, 7.4 APG, 5.6 RPG as NBA Finals MVP.

* Finished third in NBA in scoring (26.8 PPG).

* Helped lead the USA to a gold medal in the Olympics.

LeBron James, NBA

* Named NBA MVP and led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a single-season record for wins (66).

* Finished second in the NBA in scoring (28.4 PPG).

* Became the first MVP in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals in the same season.

* Helped lead the USA to a gold medal in the Olympics.

Jimmie Johnson, Auto Racing

* Joined Cale Yarborough as the second driver in the history of the sport to win three consecutive series titles.

* Finished with a series-high six pole positions during 2008 season.

* Won the title by 69 points over Carl Edwards.

Michael Phelps, Swimming

* Became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympics.

* Set seven world records on his way to winning eight gold medals.

* Swam in 17 races over the course of nine days at the 2008 Olympics (including preliminaries).

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE

Natalie Coughlin, Swimming

* Became the first woman to win six medals at a single Olympics.

* Became the first woman to defend her title in the 100-meter backstroke by winning gold.

Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics

* Joined Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004) as the third American woman to win the individual all-around championship.

* Edged US teammate Shawn Johnson by six-tenths of a point to win the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.

* Won three silver medals and one bronze medal in addition to her gold at the 2008 Olympics.

Maya Moore, NCAA Basketbal

* Averaged 19.3 PPG and 8.9 RPG while shooting 52.1 percent from the field.

* Set the Connecticut single-season scoring mark as the AP Player of the Year.

* Led the Huskies to a 39-0 record and an NCAA championship.

Candace Parker, WNBA

* Named WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year for 2008 season.

* Led WNBA in rebounding (9.5 RPG) and finished fifth in scoring (18.5 PPG).

Serena Williams, Tennis

* Won her 10th career Grand Slam at the 2009 Australian Open.

* Failed to drop a set on her way to her to the 2008 US Open singles title.

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

* Earned NBA Finals MVP.

* Averaged 33.4 PPG, 7.4 APG, 5.6 RPG in the NBA Finals.

* Led Lakers to franchise’s 15th NBA championship.

Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

* Became first player to win LCS and World Series MVP in the same season since 1997.

* Had a 4-0 record in the 2008 MLB Postseason.

* Had a 1.80 ERA with 30 strikeouts and nine walks during 2008 postseason.

Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimming

* Became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympics.

* Set seven world records on his way to winning eight gold medals.

* Swam in 17 races over the course of nine days at the 2008 Olympics (including preliminaries).

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Olympic Beach Volleyball

* Went undefeated without losing a set in winning the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.

* Won their 108th consecutive match with their gold medal victory.

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE

Shawn Johnson, Olympic Gymnastics

* Won one gold and three silver medals at the 2008 Olympics.

* Joined Shannon Miller (1996) as the second U.S. gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal on balance beam.

* Won the Sullivan Award as top amateur athlete.

Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

* Became the first player in Rays’ history to win the AL Rookie of the Year.

* Led all major league rookies in HR (27) in 2008.

* Was second among major league rookies in RBI (85).

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

* NBA Rookie of the Year

* Averaged 16.8 PPG and 6.3 APG.

* Joined Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Penny Hardaway as one of four rookies in NBA history to average at least 16 PPG and 6 APG while shooting at least 45% from the field.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

* Completed over 61 percent of his passes for 3,440 yards and 16 touchdowns.

* Led Falcons to an 11-5 regular-season record, an improvement of seven games.

BEST RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCE

Usain Bolt, Olympic Sprinter

* Set a world record time of 9.69 in the 100-meters.

* Set the first world record at the 100-meters at the Olympics since 1996.

* Won and set the world record in the 200-meters which was previously held by US Sprinter, Michael Johnson.

* His performances led to three world records at the 2008 Olympics (two individual, one relay).

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

* Broke the NFL postseason record for receptions (30) and receiving yards (546), previously held by Jerry Rice.

* Had four catches of 40+ yards during the playoffs.

Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers

* Won his 10th NBA title as a head coach, surpassing Red Auerbach for the most all-time.

* Became the first head coach to win 10 championships in one of the four major American pro sports leagues.

Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimmer

* Became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympics.

* Set seven world records on his way to winning eight gold medals.

* Swam in 17 races over the course of nine days at the 2008 Olympics (including preliminaries).

BEST UPSET

Mine That Bird wins the Kentucky Derby

* The 50-1 long shot won the Kentucky Derby.

* Scored a 6¾-length victory at Churchill Downs, the second-biggest stunner in Derby history.

* The margin was the largest since Assault won by eight lengths in 1946.

Oregon State stuns then #1 USC

* Mike Riley’s team won 27-21 in Corvallis, Oregon.

* The Beavers raced out to a 21-0 halftime lead to shock the Trojans.

* Oregon State freshman Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the upset.

Tampa Bay Rays win the American League Championship Series

* Tampa Bay did not have a winning season prior to 2008.

* Beat out the Red Sox and Yankees en route to winning the AL East Division.

* Beat the Boston Red Sox in Game Seven of the ALCS.

US Soccer shocks Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinals

* Lost the first two games of the 2009 Confederations Cup to Brazil and Italy by a combined margin of 6-1.

* Beat Egypt and went through as the runner-up of Group B on a tie-breaker to face Group A winner, Spain who was undefeated in the tournament leading up to the match.

* Defeated Spain, the top ranked team in the world, by a score of 2-0 to advance to the Final.

BEST GAME

Federer vs. Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon Final

* #2 Rafael Nadal defeated #1 Roger Federer (6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7) in the five-set thriller.

* The match featured two tie-breaks, two rain delays and lasted four hours and 48 minutes.

* Roger Federer’s streak of five straight Wimbledon wins was halted by Rafael Nadal in the longest Wimbeldon final in history.

* Became the third player in the Open era to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.

Steelers vs. Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII

* Santonio Holmes’ catch with 35 seconds left gave the Steelers their record sixth Super Bowl title.

* The Steelers’ last minute drive clinched the 27-23 victory over the Cardinals.

* Arizona scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter before the Steelers’ final drive clinched the Lombardi Trophy.

Syracuse vs. Connecticut in the Big East Tournament Quarterfinals

* After six overtimes, Syracuse defeated UCONN 127-117.

* The game lasted almost 3 1/2 hours in real time and the teams combined for 209 shots from the floor.

* It was the longest game ever played in Big East Tournament history and the 2nd longest game in Division I history.

* Prior to the 6th OT, Syracuse never led in overtime.

BEST MOMENT

Florida’s Tim Tebow’s speech

* Tebow took responsibility and ownership of his team during a press conference after Florida’s loss to Mississippi.

* The Florida Gators went on to win the BCS National Championship with a margin of victory of 33.8 PPG over their final 10 games.

Helio Castroneves wins the Indy 500

* Won the 93rd Indianapolis 500 after being found innocent on tax-evasion charges.

* Became just the ninth driver to win at least three Indianapolis 500′s and the first since 1988.

* Led the final 59 laps of the race.

US swim team wins thrilling finish in Olympic rela

* Michael Phelps’ quest for eight gold medals was in danger of disappearing in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

* Veteran Jason Lezak hit the water a half-second after Alain Bernard of France, the world-record holder in the 100-meter freestyle at the time.

* Lezak edged Bernard at the finish to give the Americans the gold.

BEST PLAY

Ovechkin vs. Rangers

* Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin scored a spectacular goal vs. Rangers in game five of Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Pacquiao KO’s Hatton

* Manny Pacquiao cemented his claim as the best pound-for-pound boxer.

* Pacquaio knocked Hatton down two times in the first round before knocking him out with a vicious left hand late in the second round.

Roethlisberger to Holmes Super Bowl Winning TD

* Holmes’ brilliant catch in the corner of the end zone with 35 seconds gave the Steelers a 27-23 victory and a record, sixth Super Bowl title.

Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree makes game-winning catch vs. Texas

* The 28-yard touchdown pass with :01 remaining sealed the upset victory for Texas Tech as they rallied late to beat Texas, 39-33.

BEST TEAM

Connecticut Women’s Basketball

* Had a 39-0 record on their way to a National championship.

* Became the first team in men’s or women’s Division I to win every game by double digits.

* Became the fifth team in NCAA women’s basketball history to finish the season undefeated.

Los Angeles Lakers

* Won 15th NBA championship by beating Orlando Magic, 4-1 in NBA Finals.

* Posted the best record in the Western Conference (65-17) during the regular season.

* Won the NBA title for the first time since 2002.

North Carolina Men’s Basketball

* Became the fifth team in NCAA history to win all their tournament games by double digits en route to a national title.

* Led the nation in scoring margin (+17.8 PPG) on their way to a 34-4 record.

Philadelphia Phillies

* Earned their first World Series title since 1980 and second in team history.

* Their 28-year span between World Series titles is tied for the fourth-longest in MLB history.

* Finished the postseason with a 7-0 record at home.

* Won the NL with a record of 92-70.

Pittsburgh Penguins

* After starting the season 27-25-5, the team changed coached, turned things around and made the playoffs.

* Won their first Stanley Cup since 1992 by defeating the Detroit Red Wings in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena.

Pittsburgh Steelers

* Won their record-breaking sixth Super Bowl.

* Went 12-4 during regular season despite playing the toughest schedule in the NFL.

BEST INTERNATIONAL MALE ATHLETE

Usain Bolt (Jamaica, Sprinter)

* Set an Olympic and world record time of 9.69 in the 100-meters.

* Won and set the world record in the 200-meters with a time of 19.30 at the 2008 Olympics.

* Won gold and set a world record along with his teammates in the 4×100 relay with a time of 37.10 seconds.

* Became the first man to win all three events at a single Olympics since Carl Lewis in 1984.

* Became the first man in history to set world records in all three events at a single Olympics.

Pau Gasol (Spain, Basketball)

* Helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA championship.

* Averaged 18.3 PPG and 10.8 RPG in 2009 NBA Playoffs.

* Was a member of Spain’s silver medal-winning basketball team at 2008 Olympics.

Lionel Messi (Argentina, Soccer)

* Led Barcelona to obtain the Champions League 2009, the Copa del Rey and the La Liga title.

* Won the Gold Medal with Argentina national team at the 2008 Olympics.

* Finished as the runner-up to Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year.

Rafael Nadal (Spain, Tennis)

* Became the #1 ranked tennis player in 2008 and won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.

* Became first player since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win the French Open and Wimbledon titles in same year.

* Led ATP circuit with eight titles in ten finals, 82 match wins, most matches played (93) and a 17-6 mark against Top 10 opponents.

* Helped Spain to Davis Cup title (vs. Argentina) by winning all three of his matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Soccer)

* 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year.

* Led Manchester United to a Premier League championship.

* Led Manchester United to their second consecutive UCL Final appearance.

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEMALE ATHLETE

Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia, Pole Vault)

* Most dominant female pole vaulter in history.

* Set an amazing 26 indoor and outdoor world records.

* Currently holds the title of Olympic and World Champion.

Marta (Brazil, Soccer)

* Led Brazil to a Silver medal at the 2008 Olympics.

* Helped the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPS) to a strong start as a member of the Los Angeles Sol.

Lorena Ochoa (México, Golf)

* Remained the #1 ranked golfer in the world.

* Added two more majors to her already storied career.

* Won seven tournaments during the 2008 LPGA season.

Stephanie Rice (Australia, swimming)

* Won three gold medals at 2008 Olympics.

* Won in the gold in the 200 meter individual medley, the 400 meter individual medley and 4×200 meter free relay.

Dinara Safina (Russia, Tennis)

* Was ranked World #1 by the Women’s Tennis Association.

* Won the silver medal in women’s singles at the 2008 Olympics.

* Runner-up in the 2009 French Open.

* Won four tournaments in 2008.

UNDER ARMOUR ALL-AMERICA MOMENT

Jake Bernhardt, Lacrosse

* Bernhardt was hit by an opposing player, but still had the strength to score.

* Scored two goals in the game.

* Was named the 2008 Central Florida Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel.

Tara Glover, Softball

* Glover made a great stab on a hard hit line drive.

* Was recently profiled on the cover of ESPN Rise.

David Renfroe, Baseball

* Renfroe hit the lone homerun of the game to left field.

* He struck out five batters in two innings and was named MVP for Team One.

Hannah Werth, Volleyball

* Werth pounded the ball into the ground for her third straight kill in the match.

* Was named MVP of the match with five kills and eight digs.

Andre Debose and Russell Shepard, Football

* Shepard threw a deep pass to Debose who split the defenders for a 92 yard TD.

* Debose announced he would attend Florida following the game.

* Shepard announced previously that he would be attending LSU.

BEST SPORTS MOVIE

The Express: The Ernie Davis Story

* Based on the life of Syracuse star running back Ernie Davis, who became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

* Stars Dennis Quaid and Rob Brown.

Sugar

* The story of a Dominican pitcher who struggles to make it to the big leagues and pulls himself and his family out of poverty.

* Stars Algenis Perez Soto and Rayniel Rufino.

The Wrestler

* A drama centered on a fictional character, retired professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson.

* Stars Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei.

BEST COACH/MANAGER

Geno Auriemma, Connecticut Women’s Basketball

* Earned his sixth national championship and led Connecticut to a perfect 39-0 record.

* His team won every game by double figures.

Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins

* Led the Penguins to first Stanley Cup since 1992.

* Replaced Michel Therrien as coach when Pittsburgh started with a 27-25-5 record, off the playoff pace.

* Led team to 18-3-4 mark to end regular season and then through the playoffs to win the Stanley Cup.

Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers

* Won his 10th NBA title as a head coach, surpassing Red Auerbach for the most all-time.

* Became the first head coach to win 10 championships in one of the four major American pro sports leagues.

Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays

* Led Tampa Bay to its first winning season in franchise history.

* Tampa Bay became the second franchise in major league history to finish first immediately following a streak of 10 or more consecutive losing seasons.

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

* Led Steelers to Super Bowl championship.

* His Steelers finished the 2008 regular season with a 12-4 record.

* Became the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl.

BEST NFL PLAYER

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

* Had a total of 96 receptions, 1,431 yards and 12 touchdowns during 2008 regular season.

* Broke postseason record for receptions (30) and receiving yards (546), previously held by Jerry Rice.

* Had four catches of 40+ yards during the playoffs.

James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers

* Was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

* Recorded 16 sacks during the regular season.

* Returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

* Earned MVP award for the third time, tying Brett Favre for the most.

* Posted his NFL-record ninth straight season of 4,000+ passing yards.

* Became the first player with 11 straight seasons of 25+ touchdown passes.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

* Led NFL in rushing yards with 1,760.

* Averaged 4.8 yards-per-carry.

* Became the fifth player in NFL history to total over 3,000 rushing yards over his first two seasons.

Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals

* Led Cardinals to the NFC championship.

* Threw for 4,583 yards during the regular season, which was second in the NFL.

* Had the most postseason passing yards (1,147).

BEST BASEBALL PLAYER

Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays

* Became the first pitcher to reach 10 wins during the 2009 season.

* Posted a 20-11 record with a 2.78 ERA during the 2008 season.

Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

* Became the second player in the last 47 years to lead the majors in home runs and RBI and play for a World Series champion in the same year (Roger Maris is the other).

* Led the league with 48 home runs and 146 RBI during the 2008 season.

Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

* Earned the AL MVP Award.

* Became the first AL 2nd baseman to win the award since Nellie Fox in 1959.

* Became only the sixth player to win the MVP Award in his second season.

Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

* Was second in NL in batting (.357) and tied for fourth in NL in home runs (37).

* Led the MLB in slugging pct. (.653) and total bases (342).

* Named NL MVP.

Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels/New York Mets

* Had a total of 62 saves during the 2008 season.

* Broke Bobby Thigpen’s single-season record for saves (57) which was set in 1990.

BEST NHL PLAYER

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

* Finished second in regular season assists (70).

* Finished third in scoring (103 points).

* Helped lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup.

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

* Finished the season with the third best plus/minus in the NHL (+34).

* Finished fourth in regular-season in points (97).

* Won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward.

* Won the Lady Byng as the most sportsmanlike player.

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

* Led the NHL in scoring (113 points) and assists (78) and posted a +17 plus/minus.

* Was named the Conn Smythe trophy winner as the Stanley Cup playoffs MVP.

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

* Led NHL in goals during regular season (56) and was the only player during 2008-09 season to score 50 goals.

* Finished second in scoring (110 points) and scored 10 game-winning goals during the regular season.

* Won the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP.

BEST DRIVER

Helio Castroneves

* Won the 93rd Indianapolis 500 after being found innocent on tax-evasion charges.

* Won the third Indy 500 of his career.

Scott Dixon

* Won 2008 IRL championship, his second title.

* Equaled the single-season mark for IRL wins in 2008 with six.

Lewis Hamilton

* Became Formula One’s youngest champion.

* Clinched the Formula One Championship after a dramatic finish in the final event of the season (Brazil Grand Prix).

Jimmie Johnson

* Joined Cale Yarborough as the second driver in the history of the sport to win three consecutive series titles.

* Finished with a series-high six pole positions during 2008 season.

* Won the title by 69 points over Carl Edwards.

Tony Schumacher

* Won his fifth consecutive NHRA crown.

* Set a Top Fuel record of 15 victories in one season.

BEST NBA PLAYER

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

* Led Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference (65-17) and their first NBA Title since 2002.

* Averaged 33.4 PPG, 7.4 APG, 5.6 RPG as NBA Finals MVP.

* Finished third in NBA in scoring (26.8 PPG).

Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

* Was one of two NBA players to average at least 20 PPG and 10 RPG (Toronto’s Chris Bosh was the other).

* Led NBA in rebounding (13.8 RPG) and blocks (2.9 BPG).

* Helped Magic reach the NBA finals.

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

* Led Cavaliers to NBA-best 66-16 record, including 39-2 at home.

* Finished second in the NBA in scoring (28.4 PPG).

* Became the only player in NBA history to average 38+ PTS, 8+ RPG and 8+ APG in a playoff series.

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

* Led the NBA in scoring (30.2 PPG).

* Averaged 7.5 APG.

* Finished second in steals and sixth in minutes played.

BEST WNBA PLAYER

Deanna Nolan, Detroit Shock

* Averaged 15.8 PPG.

* Helped the Shock win the WNBA championship.

Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

* Named WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year.

* Led WNBA in rebounding (9.5 RPG) and finished fifth in scoring (18.5 PPG).

* Was the only WNBA player to average more than nine rebounds per game.

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

* Led WNBA in scoring (24.1 PPG).

* Posted second-best performance in WNBA history for both single-season scoring average and total points.

* Scored 30 or more points 10 times, including a season-high 37 at Seattle.

Lindsay Whalen, Connecticut Sun

* Finished second in WNBA MVP voting.

* Led the WNBA in assists (5.4 APG).

* Became just the second player in league history to average 10+ PPG, 5+ RPG and 5+ APG for an entire season.

BEST FIGHTER

Lyoto Machida, MMA

* Knocked out Rashad Evans to capture light-heavyweight championship at UFC 98.

* The match-up of Machida and Evans was a battle of unbeatens.

Shane Mosley, Boxing

* Won WBA welterweight title by beating Antonio Margarito.

* Scored a ninth-round TKO to earn another championship (he has won in three separate weight classes).

Manny Pacquiao, Boxing

* Dominated over eight rounds against Oscar De La Hoya before the fight was stopped in a welterweight bout.

* Followed the De La Hoya fight with two-round demolition of Ricky Hatton.

* Joined Oscar De La Hoya as the second boxer all-time to win titles in six different weight divisions.

Anderson Silva, MMA

* Defeated Patrick Cote and Thales Leites in middleweight title defenses.

* Also defeated James Irwin.

BEST US MALE OLYMPIAN

Bryan Clay, Track and Field

* Won the Decathlon at the 2008 Olympics.

* Led from the start (when he had the best time in the 100m) to the finish.

LaShawn Merritt, Track and Field

* Won the gold medal in 400 meters at the 2008 Olympics.

* Won the gold medal as a part of the 4 X 400-meter relay at the 2008 Olympics.

Michael Phelps, Swimming

* Became the first athlete to win eight gold medals in one Olympics.

* Set seven world records on his way to winning eight gold medals.

* Swam in 17 races over the course of nine days at the 2008 Olympics (including preliminaries).

Angelo Taylor, Track and Field

* Won two gold medals at the 2008 Olympics.

* Won gold in the 400-meter hurdles and the 4 X 400-meter relay.

* Was part of the first US sweep (gold, silver, bronze) in 400-meter hurdles since 1960.

BEST US FEMALE OLYMPIAN

Natalie Coughlin, Swimming

* Became the first woman to win six medals at a single Olympics.

* Became the first woman to defend her title in the 100-meter backstroke by winning gold.

Dawn Harper, Track and Field

* Won gold medal in 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 Olympics.

Shawn Johnson, Gymnastics

* Won one gold and three silver medals at the 2008 Olympics.

* Joined Shannon Miller (1996) as the second U.S. gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal on balance beam.

* Won the Sullivan Award as top amateur athlete.

Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics

* Joined Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004) as the third American woman to win the individual all-around championship.

* Edged US teammate Shawn Johnson by six-tenths of a point to win the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.

* Won three silver medals and one bronze medal in addition to her gold at the 2008 Olympics.

BEST MALE GOLFER

Padraig Harrington

* Became only the fourth player to win the British Open and PGA in the same year (2008).

* Made three clutch putts in the final three holes to win the PGA Championship.

* Became the first European to win the PGA Championship since Tommy Armour in 1930.

* Became the fifth golfer in the last 50 years to win back-to-back British Open championships.

Phil Mickelson

* Earned over $5 million on PGA Tour in 2008.

* Won two tournaments during 2008 PGA season.

Tiger Woods

* Came back from major knee surgery to win Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament in 2009.

BEST FEMALE GOLFER

Paula Creamer

* Won four LPGA tournaments during the 2008 season.

* Finished in the top 10 in 15 of her 26 LPGA appearances.

Lorena Ochoa

* Won seven tournaments during the 2008 LPGA season.

* Finished in the top ten in 17 of 22 events she played in.

* Made over $2.7 million in prize earnings.

* Won Rolex Player of the Year for third straight time.

Suzann Pettersen

* Finished second on the LPGA money-winning list in 2008.

* Recorded 10 top ten finishes.

* Made the cut in all 24 LPGA events she participated in.

BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER

Roger Federer

* Became the sixth male player to complete career Grand Slam.

* Tied Pete Sampras’ record for Grand Slam singles titles with his 14th when he won the 2009 French Open.

* Won his fifth straight US Open title, the longest streak since Bill Tilden won six in a row from 1920-25.

Rafael Nadal

* Won 2008 Olympic gold medal.

* Finished the 2008 season as the #1 ranked player in the world.

* Posted an 82-11 record in 2008 and won eight ATP tour titles.

* Won Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER

Svetlana Kuznetsova

* Won the 2009 French Open singles championship.

* Beat the top two seeds (Dinara Safina and Serena Williams) en route to winning that title.

Dinara Safina

* Climbed to the #1 world ranking in early 2009.

* Reached finals of the 2009 French Open.

* Won four tournaments in 2008.

Serena Williams

* Won her third US Open championship (2008) without losing a set in her seven match wins.

* Defeated three of the top seven seeds at the US Open (Venus Williams, Dinara Safina, Jelena Jankovic).

* Won the 2009 Australian Open women’s singles and doubles championships.

BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE

Sam Bradford, Oklahoma Football

* Became the second sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy.

* Completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns.

Matt Gilroy, Boston University Hockey

* Won the Hobey Baker Award as top college hockey player.

* Helped lead the Terriers to a national championship.

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma Basketball

* Averaged 22.7 PPG and led the nation with 14.4 RPG.

* Had 30 double-doubles during 2008-09 season.

Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State Baseball

* Led Division I in strikeouts (180), ERA (1.24) and strikeouts per nine innings (15.88) during the 2009 regular season.

* Had a perfect 13-0 record during the regular season.

* Was th #1 overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft.

Tim Tebow, Florida Football

* Led the Gators to national championship.

* Set a school-record for 230 passing attempts without an interception.

* Was 18-of-30 for 231 yards and two touchdowns in the Gators’ 24-14 win over top-ranked Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game.

BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE

Kerri Hanks, Notre Dame Women’s Soccer

* Joined Mia Hamm, Cindy Parlow and Christine Sinclair as the fourth two-time Hermann Award winner.

* Finished the 2008 season ranked fifth in the nation in goals (20), tied for third in assists (15) and tied for second in points (55).

* Became the only Division I player to rank in the top five nationally in goals and assists.

Courtney Kupets, Georgia Gymnastics

* Helped Georgia earn its fifth consecutive national title.

* Won on the uneven bars and the balance beam while tying for first in floor exercise during NCAA team championships.

* Became the all-time NCAA leader with nine individual championships.

Danielle Lawrie, Washington Softball

* Led Washington to its first national softball championship title.

* Led the nation in strikeouts (521) and wins (42).

* Finished third in shutouts (21) and sixth in ERA (0.97).

* Was named 2009 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year.

Maya Moore, Connecticut Women’s Basketball

* Averaged 19.3 PPG and 8.9 RPG while shooting 52.1 percent from the field.

* Set the Connecticut single-season scoring mark.

* Led the Huskies to a 39-0 record and an NCAA championship.

Dana Vollmer, California Swimming

* Won the 100 and 200 freestyle titles at NCAA swimming championships.

* Was part of two winning relays that helped California win its first NCAA Division I swimming championship.

BEST MALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE

Ryan Sheckler, Skateboarding

* Won 2008 X Games Skateboard Street gold.

* Starred in his own MTV show and still just 19 years old.

Kelly Slater

* Won his ninth ASP Championship in 2008.

* Placed in seven events on his way to the Championship.

James Stewart, Motocross

* Captured the 2008 AMA Motocross points title by compiling just the third perfect season in AMA Motocross history.

* Became the 2009 AMA Supercross Series Champion in May.

Shaun White, Snowboarding/Skateboarding

* Won gold medals in the SuperPipe and Slopestyle at the 2009 Winter X Games.

* Won the bronze medal in Skateboard Vert at the 2008 X Games.

* Became the overall 2009 Dew Tour champ in both Superpipe and Slopestyle.

BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE

Torah Bright

* Won Winter X Snowboarding Superpipe gold.

* Became the Burton Global Open Champion in 2008.

Sarah Burke

* Earned her third straight Winter X Skiing SuperPipe gold in 2009.

Ashley Fiolek

* Became the 2008 AMA Women’s Motocross champ as a 17-year-old in her first full season on the series.

Maya Gabeira

* Won the 2009 Billabong XXL Women’s Overall Performance Award for the third straight year.

BEST JOCKEY

Calvin Borel

* Rode 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird to victory at the Kentucky Derby.

* Rode Rachel Alexandra to a win at The Preakness.

Garrett Gomez

* Rode winners in the Filly and Mare Sprint and the BC Sprint at the 2008 Breeders’ Cup.

* Rode 214 winners and topped $23 million in earnings.

Mike Smith

* Rode Zenyatta, the winner of Ladies’ Classic in Breeders’ Cup.

* Rode Mine That Bird to second place finish at The Preakness.

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY

Jessica Long, Swimming

* Won gold in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 400 freestyle at the 2008 Paralympics.

Asya Miller, Goalball

* Had a standout performance as a goalball star on gold medal-winning team at the 2008 Paralympics.

Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, Sailing

* Was Nick Scandone’s sailing partner and became the first female to win a Paralympic gold in sailing.

Erin Popovich, Swimming

* Won four gold medals and two silver medals at the 2008 Paralympics.

* Won gold in 400 freestyle, the 100 backstroke, 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle.

BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY

Jeremy Campbell, Track and Field

* Won the gold medal and set the world record in the pentathlon at the 2008 Paralympics.

Will Groulx, Wheelchair Rugby

* Led the team in scoring as they went undefeated in the 2008 Paralympics to win the gold medal.

Jason Lester, Ironman

* Became the first physically-challenged Ironman athlete to finish the Ultraman Hawaii World Championship with a partially paralyzed right arm.

* The event included a 6.2 mile swim and 90-mile ride on day one, a 171-mile ride on day two and a double marathon on day three.

* Finished in 24th place overall.

Oscar Pistorius, Track and Field

* Won three gold medals at the 2008 Paralympics (100, 200 and 400 meter races).

BEST BOWLER

Chris Barnes

* Led PBA Tour in points.

* Advanced to match play in 18 of the 21 tournaments he competed in.

Norm Duke

* Led PBA Tour in earnings ($199,130).

* Ranked fourth in the PBA Tour points race.

Wes Malott

* Led PBA Tour in scoring average (222.98) and finished fifth in earnings ($174,680).

* Led the PBA in championship round appearances (9).

BEST MLS PLAYER

Juan Pablo Angel, New York Red Bulls

* Scored 14 goals during the regular season.

* Led the New York Red Bulls to their first MLS Cup appearance.

Jon Busch, Chicago Fire

* Posted a 1.10 goals-against average and a league-high 10 shutouts.

* Led the Chicago Fire to the playoffs in his first full season as a starter.

* Played every minute of all 30 regular-season games.

Kenny Cooper, FC Dallas

* Scored 18 goals in 30 games during the 2008 regular season

Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy

* Scored 20 goals and added nine assists in 25 games during the 2008 regular season.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus Crew

* Was named MLS regular-season MVP and playoff MVP.

* Had seven goals and 19 assists during regular season.

* Led Columbus to best regular-season record (17-7-6).

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2009 ESPYs Nominees (includes Supercross Champion James Stewart, and Ashley Fiolek) - Photo 1 of 1

James Stewart – 2009 AMA/FIM Supercross Series Champion



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