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  • Writer's pictureFagothethird Franklin

Nominees announced for the 2023 ESPYS



It is that time again for athletes in the sporting world and celebrities to be recognized for their efforts in their respective careers as well as how they influence the community in a positive manner. Voting is now underway for all categories and will close at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 9, 20


The 2023 ESPYS, which will broadcast July 12 at 8 PM, ET, will highlight each of these amazing humans for one night. It should be one amazing and honorable night for everyone involved. So, let's get to it. Here are the nominees for each of these categories.


BEST ATHLETE, MEN’S SPORTS

  • Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets

  • Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

  • Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

  • Lionel Messi, Argentina

BEST ATHLETE, WOMEN’S SPORTS

  • Mikaela Shiffrin, Ski

  • Sophia Smith, Portland Thorns

  • Iga Świątek, Tennis

  • A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE

  • Caitlin Clark, Iowa Women’s Basketball

  • Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

  • Angel Reese, LSU Women’s Basketball

  • Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners

BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE

  • Novak Djokovic wins his 23rd Grand Slam title, defeating Casper Ruud in the French Open final. Breaking a tie with rival Rafael Nadal for the most major singles trophies in the history of men’s tennis, which dates to the 1800s

  • LeBron James surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for NBA career scoring record

  • Mikaela Shiffrin breaks the record for the most World Cup victories with her 87th win

  • Max Verstappen wins the Mexican Grand Prix, breaking the record for most wins in a season

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE

  • Leon Edwards, UFC - defeats Kamaru Usman by 5th-round KO to win UFC welterweight title, handing Usman his first UFC loss

  • Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets - 2023 NBA Finals MVP

  • Lionel Messi, Argentina - 2022 World Cup Final - scored 2 goals and scored in the penalty shootout to win Man of the Match and he won the Golden Ball as FIFA's best player of the tournament

  • Rose Zhang, LPGA - defeated Jennifer Kupcho in a two-hole sudden death playoff, making history by winning by becoming the first woman in 72 years to win her first professional start.

BEST COMEBACK ATHLETE

  • Jon Jones, UFC - Jones' first fight in the UFC since 2020. He was last seen in action against Dominick Reyes, where he defended his light-heavyweight championship at UFC 247. While Jon Jones was plotting a move to the heavyweight division, he and the UFC president did not see eye-to-eye over fighter pay. Jones felt that he needed to be paid more for a move up to the heavyweight division, which resulted in him delaying his return.

  • Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets - Murray missed the entirety of last season due to a torn ACL in his left knee. He suffered the injury in a game against the Golden State Warriors on April 12, 2021, and didn't play in the 18 months since then.

  • Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun - 2022 WNBA Comeback Player of the Year. Thomas missed all but six games last season while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. The eight-year veteran has started all 36 of Connecticut’s games in 2022, and was an All- Star earlier this season. She leads the team in assists (6.1), steals (1.7) and minutes played (32.1).

  • Justin Verlander, Current New York Mets / Houston Astros - 2022 NL Comeback Player of the Year, after being limited to only six innings in 2020 and missing the entire '21 season due to Tommy John surgery, the Astros' ace returned this season to go 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA -- the lowest by any AL pitcher since Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 ERA in 2000.

BEST PLAY

  • Michael Block Hole-in-One! GOLF

  • Justin Jefferson with the Catch of the Century NFL

  • Ally Lemos with the perfect corner to tie the National Championship game NCAA

  • Trinity Thomas Perfect 10 Tying the All-Time NCAA Record NCAA

BEST TEAM

  • Denver Nuggets, NBA

  • Georgia Bulldogs, NCAA Football

  • Kansas City Chiefs, NFL

  • Las Vegas Aces, WNBA

  • Louisiana State Tigers, NCAA Women’s Basketball

  • Oklahoma Sooners, NCAA Softball

  • Vegas Golden Knights, NHL

BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE, MEN’S SPORTS

  • Zach Edey, Purdue Men’s Basketball

  • Duncan McGuire, Creighton Soccer

  • Brennan O’Neill, Duke Lacrosse

  • Caleb Williams, USC Football

BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE, WOMEN’S SPORTS

  • Jordy Bahl, Oklahoma Softball

  • Caitlin Clark, Iowa Women’s Basketball

  • Izzy Scane, Northwestern Lacrosse

  • Trinity Thomas, Florida Gators Gymnastics

BEST ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY

  • Erica McKee, Sled Hockey Team

  • Zach Miller, Snowboarding

  • Aaron Pike, Wheelchair Racing & Cross-Country Skiing

  • Susannah Scaroni, Wheelchair Racing

BEST NFL PLAYER

  • Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

  • Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

  • Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

BEST MLB PLAYER

  • Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals

  • Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

  • Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

  • Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

BEST NHL PLAYER

  • Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas Golden Knights

  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

  • David Pastrňák, Boston Bruins

  • Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins

BEST NBA PLAYER

  • Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat

  • Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

  • Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

BEST WNBA PLAYER

  • Skylar Diggins-Smith, Phoenix Mercury

  • Candace Parker, Chicago Sky (Current Las Vegas Aces)

  • Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm (Current New York Liberty)

  • A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

BEST DRIVER

  • Brittany Force, NHRA

  • Kyle Larson, NASCAR

  • Josef Newgarden, IndyCar

  • Max Verstappen, F1

BEST UFC FIGHTER

  • Leon Edwards

  • Jon Jones

  • Islam Makhachev

  • Amanda Nunes

BEST BOXER

  • Gervonta Davis

  • Devin Haney

  • Claressa Shields

  • Shakur Stevenson

BEST SOCCER PLAYER

  • Aitana Bonmatí, Spain/Barcelona

  • Erling Haaland, Norway/Manchester City

  • Lionel Messi, Argentina/PSG

  • Sophia Smith, USWNT/Portland Thorns

BEST GOLFER

  • Wyndham Clark

  • Nelly Korda

  • Jon Rahm

  • Scottie Scheffler

BEST TENNIS PLAYER

  • Carlos Alcaraz

  • Novak Djokovic

  • Aryna Sabalenka

  • Iga Świątek

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