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MAIN Arrow to SportsSports Arrow to Sports Stars Sports Idols Arrow to ESPY Awards 2016 ESPY Awards

ESPY AwardsSandwiched in between the Running of the Bulls and the British Open is the sports extravaganza of the year known as ...the ESPY Awards.

As usual, major buzz about the "Oscars" of major athletic talent begins in June when voting opens up online for all nominee categories at

John Cena, 2016 Espy Awards host
WWE champ John Cena is
your host for the 2016 ESPYs.

Ballots are cast right up until awards night-- as millions of fans join in to pick their favorite athletes, sports teams, and the year's outstanding performances.

This year's "Oscars of Sports" will announce nominees in June followed by the awards ceremony scheduled to air live on ABC at 8PM ET on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.

While its traditional home has always been ESPN, the Espy Awards aired on network ABC last year to a ratings bonanza as Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Meanwhile, keep it here for future updates on featured presenters, a complete list of nominees and ultimate winners at the 2016 Espys.

2015 Espy Awards rewind

New this year? The Espys moved from its namesake ESPN to its sister network ABC. This year's 23rd annual ESPY Awards ceremony aired on network ABC live from Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 beginning at 8 PM ET.

Hosting this year's show was "Community" star and host of "The Soup", Joel McHale.

Major nominees, (see below) were announced on June 24th, included LeBron James who led the pack with nods for Best Male Athlete, Best NBA Player, and Best Championship performance.

The Caitlyn controversy

Along with honors for best individual and team performances throughout the past year, the 2015 Espy Awards also honored Caitlyn Jenner (a.k.a. Olympic great Bruce Jenner) with the annual Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

To say that the decision caused a controversy might have won Espy's "biggest understatment of the year".

Case in point: sportscaster Bob Costas, saw Jenner's appearance solely as a marketing ploy while others expressed admiration for Jenner's personal fortitude for a very public (and, yes, controversial) gender transition.

Meanwhile, lost in all the hoopla were this year's recipients of the annual Jimmy V Perseverance Award -- Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still and his daughter, Leah. Both were honored for their battle against Leah's rare form of pediatric cancer on awards night. The special bond between dad and daughter inspired millions of fans who responded with heartwarming messages of hope and support on social media.

Danielle Green, who played at Notre Dame and served in Iraq, was also honored with the Pat Tillman Service Award.

Presenters on the big night included LeBron James, Ed Helms, Danica Patrick, Andre Iguodoba, Vince Vaughn, Britney Spears, Kiefer Sutherland, JJ Watt, Mike Epps, and Julie Foudy.

2015 ESPY Award Nominees & * Winners

Best Male Athlete
* Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
JJ Watt, Houston Texans

Best Female Athlete
* Ronda Rousey, MMA
Breanna Stewart, UConn Basketball
Lindsey Vonn, Skiing
Serena Williams, WTA

Best Championship Performance
* LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
American Pharoah, Race Horse
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Lauren Haeger, Florida Softball

Best Breakthrough Athlete
* Mo’ne Davis, Little League Baseball
Odell Beckham Jr, New York Giants
Cardale Jones, Ohio State Buckeyes
Jordan Spieth, PGA

Best Record-Breaking Performance
* Peyton Manning throws record-509th touchdown pass
Lauren Chamberlain hits 91st home run in NCAA softball
Devin Hester takes punt in for 20th touchdown return
Klay Thompson scores 37 points in a single quarter

Best Upset
* Mississippi over Alabama, FBS
Georgia State over Baylor, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
Kansas City Royals wins AL Pennant

Best Game
* Patriots vs. Seahawks, Super Bowl
A’s vs. Royals, MLB AL Wild Card
Spurs vs. Clippers Game 7, NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals

Best Play (bracket-style)
* 1. Odell Beckham catch vs. 16. Albany goalie lacrosse goal
2. Bahamas Bowl Hail Mary vs. 15. Dwayne Bravo cricket catch
3. Lionel Messi goal vs. Jerian Grant dunk
4. Malcolm Butler INT vs. 13. Josh Sheehan triple back flip
5. Stephen Curry step back 3 vs. 12. Ameer Abdullah TD run
6. Ronda Rousey armbar vs. 11. Gerald Green dunk off the glass
7. Tyler Ennis goal vs. 10. Shoni Schimmel circus shot
8. Kevin Pillar catch vs. 9. Jeremy Menez goal

Best Coach/Manager
* Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
Geno Auriemma, UConn Huskies
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Blue Devils
Urban Meyer, Ohio State Buckeyes

Best Comeback Athlete
* Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

Best International Athlete
* Lionel Messi, Barcelona/Argentina
Novak Djokovic, ATP
Lewis Hamilton, Formula One
Lydia Ko, LPGA
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid/Portugal

Best NFL Player
* Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
JJ Watt, Houston Texans

Best MLB Player
* Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

Best NHL Player
* John Tavares, New York Islanders
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Best Driver
* Kevin Harvick, NASCAR
Erica Enders-Stevens, NHRA
Lewis Hamilton, Formula One
Juan Pablo Montoya, IndyCar
Will Power, IndyCar

Best NBA Player
* Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
James Harden, Houston Rockets
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

Best WNBA Player
* Skylar Diggins, Tulsa Shock
Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury
Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

Best Fighter
* Ronda Rousey, MMA
Donald Cerrone, MMA
Terence Crawford, Boxing
Gennady Golovkin (GGG), Boxing
Floyd Mayweather Jr, Boxing

Best Male Golfer
* Jordan Spieth
Rory McIlroy
Billy Horschel

Best Female Golfer
* Lydia Ko
Stacy Lewis
Inbee Park

Best Male Tennis Player
* Novak Djokovic
Marin Cilic
Roger Federer
Stan Wawrinka

Best Female Tennis Player
* Serena Williams
Simona Halep
Petra Kvitova
Maria Sharapova

Best Male College Athlete
* Marcus Mariota, Oregon Football
Jack Eichel, Boston University Hockey
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin Basketball
Logan Stieber, Ohio State Wrestling
Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt Baseball

Best Female College Athlete
* Missy Franklin, Cal Swimming
Taylor Cummings, Maryland Lacrosse
Lauren Haeger, Florida Softball
Micha Hancock, Penn State Volleyball
Breanna Stewart, Connecticut Basketball

Best Male Action Sports Athlete
* Ryan Dungey, Motocross
Tucker Hibbert, SnoCross
Nyjah Huston, Skateboarding
Mark McMorris, Snowboarding
Josh Sheehan, Freestyle Motocross

Best Female Action Sports Athlete
* Kelly Clark, Snowboarding
Paige Alms, Surfing
Stephanie Gilmore, Surfing
Laia Sanz, Enduro/motorbike

Best Jockey
* Victor Espinoza
Javier Castellano
Joel Rosario

Best Male Athlete with a Disability
* Krige Schabort, Triathlon
Joe Berenyi, Cycling
Josh Pauls, Sled Hockey
Mike Shea, Snowboarding
US national champion in boardercross
Andy Soule, Nordic Skiing

Best Female Athlete with a Disability
* Becca Meyers, Swimming
Kendall Gretsch, Triathlon
Oksana Masters, Nordic Skiing
Tatyana McFadden, Track and Field
Greta Neimanas, Cycling

Best Bowler
* Jason Belmonte
Parker Bohn III
Mike Fagan

Best MLS Player 
* Robbie Keane, Los Angeles Galaxy
Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders
Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution
Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls

All about the Espys

Begun by cable sports channel ESPN in 1993, the annual ESPY Awards allows sports fans worldwide to join in an online vote for their favorites in such categories as Best Male Athlete, Best Female Athlete,Best Coach/Manager, and Team of the Year.

Unlike most awards shows, the ESPYs are probably most noted for its contribution to charity, as a portion of the proceeds is donated to The V Foundation, named for its founder, Jim Valvano.

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is another ESPY highlight, honoring an individual for their personal courage or charitable works outside the sports arena, with past winners including such trailblazers as Muhammad Ali and tennis star Billie Jean King.

Around the Web, find out more about the awards ceremony with top sites featuring video highlights, photos and fun facts:

Espy Awards around the Web:

2015 ESPYS - The official site featuring the complete list of this year's nominees, online voting, an archive of video highlights and past winners.

ESPY Awards - Wikipedia entry with details on the awards' history, memorable moments, and lists of show hosts & major winners dating back to 1993.

also see in Sports in July -> Allstate 400 | British Open

Baseball All-Star Game | Tour de France | Wimbledon

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